Frightfully fashionable

Heiki Salonen is eerie, but lovely

Text by Jessica Trendle

Tank _vol 7issue 24

Fashion East catapulted Royal College of Art graduate Heikki Salonen into the fashion spotlight in 2009; now, after presenting three 1990s-inspired shows with the east London-based young-designer showcase, he is taking his first, daunting steps on his own with an autumn/winter collection entitled “New Objectivity”. It is smaller and more concentrated than his previous collections, but its enchanting detailing is applied to menswear as well as womens’ for the first time. Salonen works with the Bonotto mill in Italy, where he develops innovative woven textiles before adding his own layers on top of the fabric’s textured planes. Patchwork and prints inspired by the Bauhaus and the 1920s New Objectivity movement, from which the collection takes its name, add a geometric rhythm and disrupt this season’s backdrop of clean stripes. The surface of a pleated maxi-skirt crumbles like dried paint, while a long, sheer shirt-dress floats on the body. The all-grey collection’s meticulous tailoring draws upon Salonen’s Scandinavian roots and offers a compelling vision of a tomboy yet sexy wearability, aided by lifestyle pieces such as utility belts, rucksacks and heavy-duty boots. Salonen will present the collection on film rather than the catwalk, in haunting footage paired with an eerie soundtrack. It is, of course, an intrigue of many layers. §

Photography: Oliver Handlee Pearch / Styling: Isabelle Sayer / Hair: Akiko Kawasaki using L'Oreal Professional / Make-up: Anna Gibson using Shu Uemura / Photography Assistant Maud Kealey / Model: Kirstie Brittain at Storm Model Management
All clothes by Heikki Salonen