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IFS: After Beyond an Estonian Fashion Film

20 February 2013
by Niamh Tuft

“There’s a land far up north, where the sea hugs the shores of white sand and snow. Feel the breath of every tree and stone as the air is drawing circles around the morning mist as the fog rises.”


The Estonian designers who participated in the winning International Fashion Showcase all took inspiration from the small Baltic country they hail from. It's materials, techniques and cultural history all inform the garments and accessories they produce. Helen Sirp, the Creative Director of the Estonian Ministry of Creative Affairs approached the project as a whole as a fashion narrative and produced a film which formed a crucial chapter in this of the exhibition's story.

The film was screened on a thread curtain at the showcase in the Horse Hospital, becoming the key to the Ministry and the narrative of this exhibition. It first launched online on Love is the Law Magazine who organised Phantasia, a night of Estonian cocktails and music last Saturday. Now we are delighted to feature it on Back of the Envelope as one of the exciting films commissioned specially for the International Fashion Showcase 2013.

Helen and the film director Indrek Arula placed the designers products as characters into a dream-like scenario, translating the feeling and inspiration behind the objects into a fairy-tale film. The Man, inspired by the designs of Kristian Steinberg, is born out of rock and stone which resembles the hues of his collection entitled 'Brutalism'. He is curious and strong, echoing the architectural structures of the clothes.


Like an apparition, he sees a Woman appearing behind the trees. Wise, mysterious and seductive, she is the light and the shadow, the all-knowing feminine force. Wearing the couture pieces by Kristina Viirpalu, she is connecting things with magical yarn, following the rhythms of nature. 

The Man only sees her through the magic wooden spectacles, made by Karl Annus. Once he found the bespoke pair created for him, his vision is cleared and he can really ‘see’ the essence of things. 

The Leather Bags by Kadri Kruus carry the magic yarn like hidden treasure, symbolizing the very personal container of one’s secrets.

The story is created especially for the project and filmed at -20 degrees in Estonian winter by a renowned fashion photographer Indrek Arula, featuring a crew of emerging names from Estonia’s creative talent.

The unique soundscape created by MRDS is composed by drawing on visual film stills, translating the pixel sequences into electronic melodies, mixed with live strings (performed by Maarit Kangron on cello).



Produced & Creative Directed by HELEN SIRP

Directed, filmed & edited: INDREK ARULA

Postproduction/Colour: MART MÄNNIK

Soundscape: MRDS

Live strings - Maarit Kangron (cello)

Make-up/hair: MakeUpStore Estonia


Thanks to : Jana Solom, Katrin Jõgi, Estonian Design Centre, Estonian

Embassy in London, CSM MA Narrative Environments


Film courtesy of Love is the Law Magazine