Duyos’s trip to Estonia in June 2022 with model and actress Laura Sánchez provided inspiration for the collection, titled Estonia, which debuted at Madrid Fashion Week in September. Deep green forests and cool blue lakes, delicate summer wildflowers, the timeless traditions of handicrafts, powerful matriarchs, the endless solstice sunlight… all these bits and pieces of Estonia found their way into his designs.
In an interview with El Español, Duyos said, “[The collection] was inspired by Estonia, a trip that blew my mind. It is beautiful. I did something personal, unique, and, above all, emotional. It was a very emotional trip and so beautiful that I said ‘this has to be the 25th anniversary’. From there, smells, colors, flavors, feelings… I want it to be more emotional than physical.”
The presentation of Estonia at Madrid Fashion Week
Fashion is art, and art is an interpretation of life. Duyos looked at Estonian culture, interpreted timeless traditions, and linked them to contemporary design. Even Estonian fashion journalist Kristina Herodes was surprised at how the Spanish designer interpreted his time in Estonia. In an article for Postimees, Herodes wrote, “His vision of Estonia surprised with its sparkle, lightness, and brightness… surely the time of visiting Estonia — the period before Midsummer when it never gets dark — added to the magical light.”
The light colors and floaty fabrics were accompanied by music from Porthishead’s 1994 album “Dummy.” The choice of music was, perhaps, a nod to the melancholy that can be found in the Estonian soul, even amidst natural beauty.
The designs were brought to life by soloists from the Spanish National Ballet. When asked why he chose dancers rather than models, Duyos responded, “A country as magical as Estonia cannot be presented simply by walking on stage!”
Where did Duyos look for inspiration?
Piret Puppart, Professor of Fashion at the Estonian Academy of Arts, accompanied Duyos on his trip around Estonia.
Here’s what Puppart had to say about finding inspiration in Estonia:
“Estonia has two excellent sources of design inspiration that I have introduced to design-minded people over the years — one of them is nature and its organic place in everyday life. We do not have the tallest trees, the longest rivers, the mightiest mountains, but we have a certain way of thinking and relating to it all. The ability to see and comprehend in a different way — this is what makes our presence in nature extraordinary.
Certain superlatives can be highlighted, like what the sky here offers! Especially in summer, when the days don’t want to end and the sky paints an unprecedented spectacle over the viewer every time. We tend to forget that there are not many places where the so-called golden hour is not fleeting, but allows you to savor the view for hours.
Another important aspect is tradition is a living culture, not just museum property. Juan Duyos had the opportunity to see folk costumes and their masters actively producing them in the here and now.”
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