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From Finland to Atlantis and Arabia: the marvellous wanderings of Tramp In Disguise

  Tuesday 11th June 2013

Tramp in Disguise draws inspiration from anything that can be considered a source of inspiration, re-inventing nature and fairy tales on fabrics, using colours and patterns instead of words. Sini Moilanen founded the brand in 2010 and has presented marvellous collections since then.

In what occasion did you launch the label?

Sini Moilanen: I launched the label after finishing my MA at RCA. I actually got a stockist for my MA collection and that encouraged me to start the label, which was launched with Vauxhall Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week in 2010.

How do your origins influence your work?

SM: I am from Finland and I design very graphic prints, so I think my Scandinavian roots can really be seen in my work.

You seem to take inspiration from nature. What is its role in your work?

SM: I have been taking inspiration from nature in the previous collections, but in the past two collections I have been looking more at culture and history as inspiration.

What’s the concept behind the collection?

SM: The collection was inspired by the legend of Atlantis, the city that sunk into the sea in one day. There are many theories where Atlantis was located: one of them was near the Greek island Santorini, and I started doing research on Greece and its history for my SS13 Lost City collection. I drew inspiration from the colours of the ocean, and the shapes refer to historical Greek clothing with a modern take on it. The prints are inspired by archaeological Greek architecture, art, underwater creatures, corals and water.

What do you have in mind for your next collection?

SM: Tramp in Disguise’s AW13 collection, Arabian Nights, is inspired by the book One Thousand and One Nights and it features motifs drawn from these tales and includes shapes of daggers, pottery and bottles (containing captured spirits), mosques, minarets, statues, Arabic tiles, geometric patterns, Arab and belly dancing clothing. The collection carries the motifs in the distinctive colour palette of reds, pinks, oranges, gold, blues, purples, black and white.

The collection ranges across dresses, jumpsuits and separate pieces including jackets, skirts and tops. The garments are produced in a combination of both structured and draped designs in an array of luxurious fabrics: cotton silk mix, satin silk, crepe de chine, silk georgette, silk habutai, silk jersey, foiled leather, fringing and gold colour rings, crystals, knitwear in a silk and alpaca mix.

What kind of woman wears Tramp in Disguise?

SM: Women who like colour, prints and patterns – a woman who has a sense of humour and likes to stand out from the crowd.

How do you balance all the elements in your pieces: colours, patterns, shapes and fabrics?

SM: Often when a garment has a busy pattern then shapes don’t have to be as complicated, because the fabric can do all the talking on its own. I choose fabrics according to what is suitable to the structure of the garment and then depending which season it’s for. I do use a lot of silk and silk mix fabrics. The colours I use depend on the theme of the collection and what is a suitable colour for the specific theme.

Is there any particular designer you would like to collaborate with?

SM: I would love to collaborate with Hussein Chalayan. I love his concepts and clever use of fabrics and form in fashion.

Do you have a fashion vice?

SM: I tend to hoard clothes! I still have clothes in my wardrobe from my teenage years, which I still occasionally wear! I also buy very high heels because they are beautiful, but I never wear them because they are not comfortable.

What’s the highlight of your career so far?

SM: Doing shows both at Zagreb Fashion Week this year and in Vancouver Fashion Week. Also, seeing my garments in magazines and worn by various celebrities.

Where do you see your label five years from now?

SM: I hope Tramp in Disguise will be showing at various fashion week catwalk shows including London Fashion Week as well as being stocked in all continents around the world. We are launching a diffusion line, My Galavant, this May, and I hope it will do well.

Monica Guerrasio 

For further information about Tramp In Disguise click here.

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