Eva Armour

Fashion in Helsinki is an annual event committed to providing emerging design talents in northern Europe with global exposure. The joint initiative between Aalto University, Helsinki New, Pre Helsinki and Business Finland is a collection of showcases, industry seminars, and a fashion show. The three-day event in the Finnish capital is a convergence of passion and creativity. Here's my five highlights.

Island Fashion

We were whisked to the idyllic island of Uunisaari at sunset for the Pre-Helsinki castaway presentation. Representing a curated selection of Finnish designers, the presentation explored the theme of survival through collaboration and creativity in extreme circumstances. Visit @prehelsinki on Instagram.

2) Saunas

Upon arriving in Finland, myself and a fellow beauty-obsessed Scots journalist picked up on the Finns' glowing skin. After several conversations on their beauty regimes, we realised the key was not a product but their daily trip to the sauna. An integral part of the culture, we’re told 20 minutes in the sauna replaces their morning workout. We got the chance to get our own Finnish glow when invited to the sauna after the Pre-Helsinki fashion presentation. Sauna post fashion show? Only in Helsinki!

3) Sustainability

A common theme in Helsinki was a commitment to sustainability. Brands demonstrated a genuine devotion to environmentally sustainable practices, that has become core to their brand identity. Leather goods accessories brand Lovia uses only existing materials, many of their leathers coming from excess production at Finnish furniture factories. Félix Poza, sustainability director of the Inditex Group further touched on the issue at Aalto University’s seminar, urging consumers to purchase garments produced using sustainable materials and to ditch the polyester.

4) Aalto University Graduate Show

Fashion in Helsinki concluded in style with Naytos18, the Aalto University graduate fashion show, a design school with an international reputation. The collections were a stark contrast to the minimalist, ready-to-wear Finnish designs showcased earlier in the trip. Bold colours, extravagant use of textures, each collection portraying a strong identity.

6) Alcohol

A fashion trip would not be complete without a substantial level of champagne consumption. If you have ever wondered if any other nation could drink quite like the Scots, rest assured Finland can compete. Finlandia vodka is the Finnish beverage of choice and no lemonade required, locals drink it straight. If vodka isn’t your thing, visit restaurant Pontus for an array of red, white and rosé wines. The Suvi Rosé from France is a must try.

Interested in attending next year’s event? Check out; http://www.fashioninhelsinki.com/