Witness the all-Estonian passion for art and fashion

  • 2004-11-17
  • By TBT staff
TALLINN - "A shuttle full of the craziest ideas is approaching the Earth!" No, this is not a slogan for the Estonian film equivalent to "Star Wars," but a fashion show, as described in the high couture terminology of the event's organizers.

The slogan for this year's ERKI fashion show is "Go," which probably doesn't require much in the way of explanation. Go for it. Go get 'em tiger. Go jump in a lake. That sort of thing.

ERKI is as big as fashion gets in Estonia, providing a showcase for new designers, and a good reason for Tallinn's beautiful people to stand shoulder to padded shoulder.

ERKI, in case you were wondering, has nothing to do with the popular male name Erki, but is an abbreviation for the Estonian State Art Institute (Eesti Riiklik Kunstiinstituut), as it was called from 1951 to 1989, but which is now the Estonian Art Academy.

The show is celebrating its 10th anniversary in tandem with the 90th anniversary of the Estonian Art Academy, the alma mater for most Estonian artists and designers.

ERKI is a showcase for fashion in the extreme, as opposed to the sort of fashion that can be translated into everyday apparel. Unless, that is, you would want to wear a dress with empty tins or milk cartons attached to it. The whole event is a hyperslick mixture of fashion, video art and live music performances.

In addition to exhibitions by art academy students, well-established Estonian fashion artists such as Aldo Jarvsoo, Vasilisa and a bunch of guest artists from the Scandinavian art schools, will be showing off their wares.

One of the most enthusiastically received collections at last year's show was named "Love Comes and Goes, but Hunger Stays," which was designed by Vasilisa and Retti. Vasilisa, the 29-year-old daughter of the road transport tycoon Yuri Shehovtsov, who in turn is one of the most influential businessmen in Estonia, is finishing her master's degree at the Estonian Art Academy. Aldo Jarvsoo has recently been obsessed by what can only be described as Celtic and Arabic patterns on a serpentine theme.

ERKI should be a blast, and it has the additional benefit that if you go along to it wearing only a bin liner, you'll probably receive a dozen compliments for your amazing sense of style.

ERKI Fashion Show
(ERKI Moeshow),
Nov. 20, 8 p.m.,
doors open at 7 p.m.
Kosmos cinema,
45 Parnu Rd., Tallinn.
Tickets 150 kroons (10 euros), available from Piletilevi and Piletipunkt or 200 kroons on the night.