Photo: Riina Varol
Creative director: Liisi Eesmaa
Producer: Piret Puppart
Photographer: Riina Varol
Model: Äli Kiivet
Make-up: Gerda Miller
Sound design: Karl Martin Kelder
Light solutions: Luigi Heinmaa
Editor: Stuart Garlick
Graphic design: Johanna Ruukholm
The Estonian Academy of Arts’ fashion design department exhibition “Illumination” is inspired by the unearthly: light and will-o’-the-wisps shed light into the world of shadows. The Latin word illuminatio can be interpreted in many ways: enlightenment, inner clarification found as a result of a mysterious experience, canvas being covered in paint, or to adorn with light. In every connotation, the word translates to the shedding of light, bringing out the unseen, and introducing new perceptions and sensations.
The students’ assignment in the masterclass of Experimental Form, supervised by Liisi Eesmaa, was to create one-of-a kind, outstanding, mystical fashion forms using only leftover scraps of reflex reflectors. The illuminating light created by the material has an otherworldly, shape-deforming quality. The students derived inspiration from the most curious sources, like reflective safety equipment, the world of corals, religion, and Joan of Arc. Illumination stands for both mental and physical enlightenment, in which illusion transforms into reality when it becomes a wearable form. The reflective masks and accessories made during the course reveal holy mirages, orbiting futuristic nuns, and illuminated aborigines. These hallucinatory forms, saturated by light, add up to more than 150 hours of work each, and when one takes a closer look, it will become clear that the particular coral is made of approximately 600 minuscule monkey silhouettes, a headpiece arranged from 2000 tiny bats, or a flower blossom pieced together from 6000 reflector chips.
Enlightenment is also of vital importance in the gloomy and dark Estonian autumn. In collaboration with Estonia’s Road Administration, the Experimental Form students are taking part in a social campaign, which advocates the importance of wearing a reflector during the seasons when it is dark outside most hours of the day. The aim is to have people illuminated, stand out, make themselves visible, and get home safely!
PS: To maximize the experience, please switch on the flashlight function on your mobile.