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Eff Is Taking Baltic Fashion Design to New Heights

Estonian Fashion Festival (Eff) has big plans for emerging fashion designers and the Baltic fashion scene. The annual event itself is relatively young though – since the inception in 2018, Eff will take place for the 3rd time this June. But the strength lies in the youth! Having its roots in the student capital Tartu in Estonia, Eff has creativity, focus, and initiative written in its DNA.
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OmaMood

Eff combines three fashion shows: Mood-Performance-Tants, OmaMood, and Antonius Fashion Show under one umbrella. Each fashion show has remained independent – the shows are still hosted by their original organizers, who had previously run the fashion show for many years. This has enabled the fashion shows to keep their original characteristics and drive.

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Antonius Fashion Show

Something for Every Designer

The oldest fashion show, Mood-Performance-Tants (MPT) was born in 1999 at Tartu Art College. It was created for the school’s students, so they could show their designs in an artsy way at an open fashion show that everyone could attend. MPT is not a typical fashion show where you have a runway and models walk on the catwalk. Instead, it features dancers, over-the-top fashion designs, artistic music, lighting and could pass for an art happening if it weren’t for the clothes. Designers such as Annika Kiidron, Hanna Korsar, Liisi Eesmaa, and Triinu Pungits have all participated in the show.

 

The first OmaMood fashion show was held in 2012 as a cooperation project between the specialties of national textile, cultural management, dance art, and traditional music of the Viljandi Culture Academy of the University of Tartu. Like MPT, OmaMood also began as a student event but has now evolved into a popular fashion show that aims to popularize the use of native handicrafts and sustainable fashion consumption. Throughout the years, stars such as Cärol Ott, Vilve Unt, and Katre Arula have participated. Starting in 2021 OmaMood will also expand its scope and will welcome non-Estonian designers to apply and showcase handicrafts inspired by their heritage and local techniques.

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Mood-Performance-Tants

Out of the three, the Antonius Fashion Show is the only one that features ready-to-wear clothes and accessories. The collections are made for the shelves of department stores and to be worn on the spot. The Antonius show having been brought to life by the Tartu Centre for Creative Industries was also the first to introduce the concept of the panel of experts for the designers, which has now been implemented by all the shows at Eff. The experts' panel remains to be one of the most beneficial aspects for the emerging designers, as it gives each creator a possibility to receive individual feedback from established international fashion experts from the biggest magazines, fashion houses, and organizations. Many famous fashion designers such as Xenia Joost, Anni Ansmann, Kuul, Kairi Lentsius have all participated at the Antonius Fashion Show.

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Eff & the Estonian Fashion Scene

Just like other Baltic countries, Estonia is a small country with just 1,3 million inhabitants and is thus very dependent on foreign investments. What is noteworthy, however, is the entrepreneurial attitude of Estonians. It is widely known that Estonia is known for its numerous startups and its e-services are famous even in the White House. There are over 3000 e-services developed by the Government of Estonia that are available for use by the citizens and now also by the e-residents. But it is not only the IT and technology sector that is booming – in 2015 there were over 9000 creative companies registered and we can only assume the number is much higher today. Besides fashion design companies, there are many other types of design and creative enterprises that have been up in Estonia.

 

Though there are fashion weeks and many other types of fashion shows, there are some fundamental differences in the concept and setup of Eff. The most important differences are fundamental: first, designers who want to take part in the fashion shows must apply via an open Designers’ Contest. The contest is very transparent and a jury will decide who will get to be part of the shows. The second big difference is the fact that Eff is an international fashion show that wants to create a platform for designers that helps to expand to the international market.

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Eff team

Export Opportunities for Fashion Designers

Estonian Fashion Festival has an ambitious goal of becoming the best platform for emerging fashion designers in the region. In order to be really beneficial for the designers, Eff aims to become big in its scale and impact. Every year the festival has grown bigger and better thanks to the support and trust of our partners. The best indicator of our continuous success is the high number of Baltic and Russian designers’ applications that we receive each year. The mission for the next 5 years is to become the biggest fashion festival in the Northern and Eastern European regions and offer retail and networking opportunities.

 

“We definitely don’t want to be just another fashion event. Our ultimate goal is to help fresh talent in our region to the international fashion arena. We have understood that in order to achieve that we have to develop the whole system: starting from educating young designers on various topics, helping them find contacts and continuing helping them with showcasing their work. Whatever we are doing or planning, we do it for the designers. Meeting the needs of our young designers is in the heart of our organization,” states the Board Member of Eff Karin Sepp regarding the very detailed development plan for the future.

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Estonian Fashion Festival 2020 Online

This year Eff is proud to host the entire event online. Each fashion show will be streamed from different locations in Tartu - Aparaaditehas for Mood-Performance-Tants, the National Archives of Estonia for OmaMood, and the Estonian National Museum for the Antonius Fashion Show. Though the event this year will be hosted without an audience, the show will be as amazing as ever! All the hair will be styled by Balmain Hair Couture Estonia and makeup looks by Make-Up Atelier Paris, plus there will be professional dancers and musicians making sure the show will be something worth remembering for an entire year! With Eff comes the new era in fashion shows - an improved concept of what fashion could be and must be both for the viewer and the wearer!

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Estonian National Museum

Tune in for the Estonian Fashion Festival 2020 at 7 PM on June 10-12 via L’Officiel Baltic or Delfi TV. 

All the collections will be available to browse via the e-catalogs on fashionfestival.ee from June 13.

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