Rolf Ekroth presents his FW24 collection 'Dear Night' at Copenhagen Fashion Week. The collection is a nostalgic adventure into winter sports and a childhood in the 80s, in collaboration with Mattocenter
Rolf Ekroth is a highly regarded Finnish fashion designer whose work has been featured at prestigious events such as Pitti Uomo in Florence and the Hyerès festival of fashion. Ekroth recently presented his FW24 collection 'Dear Night' at the January edition of Copenhagen Fashion Week as part of the New Talent program. The collection draws inspiration from Ekroth's childhood memories of winter sports and the 80s era in Finland.
The 'Dear Night' collection features three looks created in collaboration with Mattocenter, a company known for its hand-knotted carpets. The collaboration resulted in a fusion of street fashion and the soft, refined silk velvet fabric of Sáide (Shop in Shop), which is owned by Mattocenter's entrepreneur Tinet Wafin. Sáide specializes in home textiles and accessories.
The 'Dear Night' collection, presented by Ekroth at Copenhagen Fashion Week, draws inspiration from the snowy winters of the North. The main elements of inspiration are derived from winter sports that are close to people's hearts, such as hill jumping, ice hockey, and cross-country skiing.
The collection features a combination of nostalgic childhood nuances and modern design elements, such as modern prints and a consistent color palette, which includes earthy tones characteristic of Ekroth's style. The collection includes innovative designs like knitted ski jumping outfits, leather shorts resembling the knee pads of a hockey goalie, and a bag resembling a skier's race number.
The 'Dear Night' collection also features technical textiles that combine sports and street fashion, including Ekroth's specialty hoodies and practical accessories designed with dignity and effortlessness in mind. Mattocenter's Shop in Shop's Sáide silk velvet textiles add luminosity and elegance to the looks in just the right amounts, with pearly coral and golden browns, and geometric patterns.
The collaboration has resulted in bags that perfectly complement the materials and colors used in the collection. Each bag has a unique design, which is surprising with its shape and usage. The bags are a testament to Ekroth's exceptional design work. For instance, there is a bag that imitates a skier's race number (Look 4). This bag is made of luxurious silk velvet fabric, which remains on the chest, while the nylon straps that wrap around the back evenly distribute the weight to the shoulders.
The silk velvet fabric used in the bags has been dyed by hand using the ancient Ikat dyeing technique. The patterns on the fabric are not perfectly precise but rather have unique flowing contours. The abstract fabric patterns complement the uniformity of the collection, while also providing an interesting twist.
Ekroth's latest collection draws inspiration from his childhood memories and home life. During the design process, memories from the 80s started to emerge and influenced the collection, leading him to incorporate a familiar leather and velvet sofa in the 'Dear Night' collection.
As a child, Ekroth spent long hours sitting on his family's sofa, watching winter sports competitions on the TV. He was filled with emotions as he watched the athletes compete for their country's glory and often dreamed of their lifestyle. Ekroth has produced a collection of golden pins designed by Ildar Wafin (Look 18), paying tribute to the winners of these sports events. The collection honors the clothing styles associated with these sports, which have always fascinated Ekroth.
Winter sports have a rich history and have played a significant role in shaping the collection. Although not every victory could be achieved from the comfort of his sofa, Ekroth's passion for sports and fashion has influenced his work throughout his life. The 'Dear Night' collection also honors domestic competitive sports and their cultural significance.
The collaboration between Mattocenter and Ekroth is built on their shared appreciation of craft traditions and their desire to showcase Finnish design expertise to the world. Mattocenter's business is centered around ancient craft techniques and the accumulation of know-how over generations. At the same time, Ekroth's background includes years of experience working with crafts and a deep understanding of the textile industry, gained through education and work experience within the fashion world.
Mattocenter is a family-run business that values cultural traditions and phenomena, which has been a significant influence on Ekroth since his childhood in Helsinki during the 1980s. While the company has a long history and deep roots, it recognizes the importance of innovation in the 2020s, regardless of the industry. Fashion and carpets are particularly suited to this mindset, as they require knowledge, skill, and responsible operating principles to produce unique products. The collaboration is driven by a commitment to slow fashion, respect for history and craft traditions, and a desire to showcase Finnish expertise to the world. This partnership promises to be a profitable force for both parties.
By: Kaisla Koskiniemi
Photos: James Cochrane and Otto Virtanen
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