Gallery: Estonian language learners put on sustainable fashion show

Estonian language learners in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County presented sustainable clothes and accessories they designed as part of a three-month emersion course.

The event took place at the Astri Shopping Center in Narva and 40 students showcased the work they made at the Moepöörde free school.

The project was launched in Estonia's border city by the Unversity of Tartu's Viljandi Culture Academy, the Estonian Fashion FestivaI, and the Estonian Language House in Narva.

For three months, the language learners were mentored by fashion designers Margot Vaaderpass, Kätlin Kikkas, Liis Tiisvelt, and Anu Sirkas, and several other specialists shared their experiences with the group. 

The whole experience was taught only in Estonian.

"Language learners and fashion designers were faced with a new challenge: to create sustainable clothing and accessories by speaking only in Estonian. From previous experience, we knew that combining language learning with shared interests leads to amazing results. And so it was this time: in an exciting joint effort, 71 unique items were created and an extraordinary fashion show was born with the participation of 21 fashion designers and 50 models," Moepoerde project manager Julia Viirsalu said.

The students designed a dozen collections which included garments such as coats, vests, dresses, blouses and skirts as well as bags and jewelry. A jury was also on hand to judge the creations.

"On the fashion stage, we saw 12 different collections, 3-4 of which were of an exceptionally high standard, given the time and financial constraints of the designers. The project clearly showed the potential of the designers of Ida-Viru County and I sincerely believe that this is the beginning of something bigger, because through this collaboration we touched on so many important topics at once: creativity, sustainable design, micro-entrepreneurship, Estonian language, and so on," said Juko-Mart Kõlar, a member of the jury and head of the Viljandi Culture Academy. 

The winning team, Kairos, was awarded €1,000.

Team member Anna Chirkova said their designs featured different "styles, traditions, trends, materials and techniques to show how things can be given a new life at home".

"In addition to this, we started to communicate more freely in Estonian, learned to express our ideas openly, and got a boost for future work. The school gave us the opportunity to express and develop ourselves both creatively and practically," she said.


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Editor: Kerttu Kaldoja, Helen Wright

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