Finnish fashion: is it the right kind of crazy?

So Näytös 2012 shakes its little tush on the catwalk tonight in Suvilahti, and live on TV for the first time – a pretty decent opportunity for any young fashion designer. I’ve been taking a butchers at the lookbooks of tonight’s four rising stars: Sasu Kauppi, R/H, Ensaemble, and Saara Lepokorpi. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage since my idea of sartorial gorgeousness is to be found in Savile Row, and I twitch when I’m around cotton jersey, one of the most prevalent materials in Finnish design. I love shape but not to distraction, whereas meanwhile, in Finland…

R/H SS12, to me, seems the most grown-up collection of the lot. This is not to say it’s the first one I’d wear, because I am very much against growing up. I am a little afraid of the tassels there, as I wonder if they’re really ready to come back after being shooed out of existence since the 1970s. I do, however, rather love the fabric choices they’re making. They made a t-shirt cut look kind of gorgeous. I hate t-shirts. So that counts as a miracle.
Ensaemble SS12. Here we haven’t grown up quite so much. Finnish fashion designers often have this thing going on where it seems as though the point of clothes is to transform a person into an animal, bird, or in the case of that ubiquitous Finnish Marimekko classic, a giant screaming plant. There’s something adorably larpish about this look – in a good way, of course. She could cast a spell on you and you might actually believe it.
Saara Lepokorppi SS12. The rest of the collection has frankly fantastic pleats, crisp cuts and, to me, a wicked eye for androgyny. I approve. I do, however, have reservations concerning a number of bits of fabric that don’t seem to do much other than drape in a layered orgy of asymmetry. Still. This woman is a wizard with scissors.
Sasu Kauppi, AW11. You know what I love about fashion? This. I may be in love with brogues and nice tailoring, but when it comes down to it, every article of fashion is ridiculous. It’s all about social signals, imagination, conformity, and whatever pretty much randomly is chosen by a group of people to be aesthetically on. Ridiculous is wonderful; it’s all we are. Is that felt on the sleeves? And seriously, socks with no shoes.