Finnish style at the Venice Fashion Week - “Being Finnish is visible in my works”, comments the designer

Finnish style at the Venice Fashion Week

Finnish style is represented at the Venice Fashion Week this year: the Finnish fashion designer Jasmin Santanen, in collaboration with the Martina Vidal Atelier, has created a collection that draws inspiration  from the extravagant Venetian Marquise Luisa Casati.

The “Being Luisa” fashion show was presented on 25 March at the Palazzo Casagredo, and will remain on display from Saturday 26 March until Tuesday 5 April at the Magazzino Gallery of Palazzo Contarini Polignac. The project is organized in collaboration with the Finnish Embassy in Rome.

Designer Santanen defines her style as “timeless, feminine, brave”.

"I want to create timeless designs in quality materials", Santanen tells on the day before the collection opens to the public.

She says that being Finnish has had a strong effect on her style.

"Absolutely! The clothes that I create are practical, you have to feel comfortable wearing them. The style of fashion shows and exhibitions is obviously more dashing, but I believe that even a festive dress must be comfortable. Clothes should not prevent women from moving, for example. A dress must be one more way of expressing oneself, freeing the best version of the person, not limiting them in some way.”

Contacts with the Vidal Atelier began in September, when Palazzo Contarini Polignac, where the collection will remain open to the public until April 5, contacted Santanen asking her to collaborate with the Venice Fashion Week. She could freely choose the most suitable collaborator for her, hoping that cultural exchange could lead to new creative inventions. She chose the Martina Vidal Atelier, whose ancient knowledge of Burano lace making combined well with her style and ideas.

"Together we have built a more modern interpretation, where the lace material remains the protagonist. Together with that, we use cotton and some velvet. The first collection we created together is made for spring time, to be used for example at weddings or graduations. The inspiration focused on the marquise as a young bride, a little shy, just arrived in the city - like the Marquise Casati herself, when she arrived from Milan to marry the Marquis Camillo Casati Stampa di Soncino. Despite the apparent shyness, the clothes also reflect a certain desire for adventure and discovering new things in the big city."

In the past, Santanen had created clothes inspired by the natural themes of flora and fauna and the ecosystem. When she found images of the Marquise Casati, surrounded by cheetahs, snakes, peacocks and other exotic animals in her garden of the Venier dei Leoni palace in Venice, she knew that she could use the marquise as inspiration for an entire collection.

”The marquise has a story that is worth telling. One could say that, with her outlandish style, she was a work of art herself. After the spring collection the plan is to probably continue with an autumn collection, with more festive materials,” Santanen says.

Santanen lives and works in Paris, and is visiting Venice during the Venice Fashion Week. She says that the collaboration with the Venice Fashion Week has worked very well.

"The event is very well organized, and the exhibition spaces are really beautiful, the environment is inspiring. It is very nice to be here."