Anna-Mari Leppisaari is a Helsinki based fashion and textile designer with a special focus on knit structures and techniques that enable wide range of freedom in her artistic expression. Her usage of colors and sense of rhythm in combination with the exceptional knowledge in various textile techniques have been a big inspiration for us.
In the summer 2017 we started to research on sustainable wool and reached out for Anna-Mari to have a knit and design expert as part of the team. Happily she was as excited as we were in finding new sustainable techniques to design and produce fashion. The TAUKO Autumn & Winter 2018 collection is presenting the result of the collaboration: the special minicollection consisting organic merino wool knits that are designed by Anna-Mari.
To learn more about knits and fashion design we asked Anna-Mari to tell about her background and interests.
How did you get interested in fashion?
I’ve always been into fine arts, I did ceramics, fine art printmaking and painting for more than ten years as a child. I got interested specifically in design and fashion when I was on high school exchange in Melbourne, and studied in a very progressive high school where they already then taught design as a subject. After that experience, I decided that I wanted to become a fashion designer and luckily got into Aalto University. I’ve always found it fascinating how fashion reflects its time and the society, as well as is an individual form of expression.
What does sustainability in fashion mean to you?
It means high quality in the materials, the design and the production. So it really should be included in all of the aspects of the process. In this project, it was really great to work with the extra fine organic merino wool! Sustainability is also an ethical issue, there should be kindness towards the environment and safe conditions and fair pay for the workers. There are really interesting sustainable developments going on in both the material and design/production side, lately I’ve been super interested in seamless knitting.
What has been the inspiration for the knits that you designed for TAUKO?
I was inspired by the extraordinary dimension that can be found in cargo ports and marine world. The designs play with different scales both in the variation of the print and the dimensions of the garments. They are based on classic knitwear architypes, such as the woollen jumper, the cardigan, the beanie, the scarf etc.
Which is your favourite knit of the TAUKO Autumn & Winter 2018 collection?
I’ve been wearing my Port scarf a lot, I love it that is lightweight but so warm! The marine blue Scale wool shirt is also my favourite, I like how the print motif of the collection turns into a 3-dimensional texture on that piece.
Text Mila Moisio & Anna-Mari Leppisaari
Photo credits: Laura Oja