The Future is Human is my thesis work for Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design master degree at Aalto University. In my thesis I look into how the concept of fashion as well as the fashion industry as a whole will change in the next thirty years, due to the climate crisis and changes in male gender roles and how these are linked together. I believe that men need to be freed from the same rigid rules of patriarchy that women have fought to free themselves from for centuries. Without men’s liberation, we cannot achieve equality, but I believe that with true gender equality we can save our world. My thesis is entirely made from leftover and waste materials. In 2014 I bought the leftover storage of the last independent textile shop in Helsinki when they closed down and in my thesis I challenged myself to transform those textiles into more interesting versions of themselves, with techniques that are free of chemicals and use as little water as possible. The techniques used were sundyeing for natural fibres and painting with beeswax for heavy cotton outdoor textiles, as well as silk screen printing with pigments and sublimation for polyester. I enjoy the process of sun dyeing and painting with beeswax, because they are totally toxin free, can be done with very little water usage and are controllable but also unpredictable so the work process determines much of the end result. Sun dyeing is especially close to my heart because it reminds me of working in the darkroom and that's my first creative love. Working in the darkroom while studying photography was like meditation for me, besides nature it was the first place where my restless brain balanced. The textiles here are sundyed with prints designed for the theme and photography from Waaw Artists’ residency in Senegal 2018. While photographing in Senegal my special interest was how Western fashion affects the local culture. The Future is Human is gender free and instead of making a collection I decided to make personalised uniforms for selected muses, who have deeply impacted me and my work with their own doings. The uniforms were designed after extensive interviews and wardrobe studies to fit each muses personality and wardrobe needs. I am intrigued by the legend that Albert Einstein had seven of the same suit so he could ease getting dressed in the morning, to save time and brain power. I don't think one outfit works for everyone, especially for visually creative people, but I do believe we need to drastically lower our clothing consumption in the future and having outfits specifically designed for us, to fit our needs, is one way to start. My work is always deeply conceptual and I plan the processes in detail but I also love the process itself and allow room for everything that happens during to influence the end result. The photography process is especially important and rewarding for me as it is the culmination of everything I have done and I get to shoot with amazing people with a critical viewpoint. I always have a need to find new ways of doing old things/techniques, I have a born need for problem solving when it comes to issues that I feel passionate about. The most important issue for me is the future of our home planet and the species living on it, including humans. Instead of trying to make better products, I want to make a statement. We have everything we need to be happy. We don’t need any more of just something but a lot more of something significant. Pretty is not enough when the world we know is literally burning.
SUNDYED & BEESWAXED TEXTILES
EMILIANNE I Singer-songwriter, model & actress
YOU DIDN'T COME INTO THIS WORLD YOU CAME OUT OF IT LIKE A WAVE FROM THE OCEAN YOU ARE NOT A STRANGER HERE
Words by Alan Watts
TUOMAS SAIKKONEN Illustrator, graphic designer & tattoo artist