ones that reflect our own life in its perfect embodiment, but also help us conceal the imperfections and achieve the feeling of emotional escapism and physical comfort. For some the fashion journey ends here, by the clothes rack... For others it turns into a never-ending process of discovering the world of fashion and learning about people who build it, stitch by stitch, fantasy after fantasy, which ultimately allow us to understand and appreciate the clothes, the craftsmanship, the uniqueness and the whole idea of fashion as art.
My introduction to Teija Eilola began with a Haiti blouse, a beautiful one-of-a-kind white shirt with meringue-like bouncy sleeves and scrumptious pleated details. Unmistakably British, perfect for a Jane Austin heroine, should she lived in the 21st century, it was a little piece of luxury to dream of.
The blouse was a part of TEIJA, a new label launched in summer 2012 at the final of the Fashion Fringe competition founded by Colin McDowell, legendary fashion journalist and supported by Burberry's CEO Christopher Bailey. Both chose the young Finnish born London-based designer as one of the finalists catapulting her career to another universe. Two years on and four collections later Teija Eilola is growing stronger and stronger capturing the world's attention and love with everything she creates.
WHO: Teija Eilola, fashion designer, Kent Institute of Art and Design and Royal College of Art graduate, winner of the Royal Society of Arts graduate design award 2002, finalist of the Fashion Fringe 2012, once part of the design teams for Michiko Koshino and Ted Baker and founder of TEIJA.
WHAT: Collections of quietly beautiful, luxurious hand-crafted wardrobe staples with an architectural feel in the cut that reflect designers Nordic heritage mixed with contemporary British vibe.
WHERE: View collections at teijaeilola.com and shop at Young British Designers and emmajshipley.com. Follow via Twitter and Facebook. Also read Teija's Fashion Frindge diary and interview.
WHY: Attention to details, impeccable craftsmanship and incredible fabrics, which transform every single garment a wearable collectors piece.
LOOK FOR: Haiti shirt, Crystalline silk top, Siru silk and leather blouse, Pulveri jacket (the paper leather is absolutely out of this world!) and Amazon silk top.
Do you remember your first memory associated with fashion?
I fell in love with drawing people and faces when I was really young. Observing people, trying to capture the subtle shades of skin and draped fabric have become my favourite pastime ever since. I think this influences my designs even now in the way I use lot of soft nude palettes and I love drawing illustrations with real faces.
What does fashion mean to you?
Opportunity to explore and be creative through sculpture and drapery. It is also a very cultural thing, so I don't think fashion exists in isolation.
What kind of designer, in your option, can change the world of fashion?
The ones most in touch with their own identity, those trying to say something personal through design. Jil Sander, perhaps, to pick one I have always admired.
At what point of your life did you decide to become a part of this world and be a fashion designer?
When I was on my second year studying Fashion, we could attend some extra master classes in pattern cutting. It was an incredible old priest who taught them and I was mesmerise by everything he draped on stand then. It was there and then that I realised the potential of what could be achieved with fabric.
What is the most exciting about this profession?
Being able to create for living.
What are the most important things about the garment you design?
I try to ask myself a question every time I am thinking of a design, does this design say something or is it just a garment among many garments. I find it important to put your heart into the work.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Vintage markets and second hand stores are great for finding some old fashioned ways of doing things. The challenge is to make those ideas modern.
And how do you feel about trends?
I think it's important to belong, but also to concentrate on what you do best.
If you could give women a style lesson or advice what would it be?
Make sure you feel amazing inside first, and you will look great outside as well.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
5 things about Teija
A song or quote that best describes you...
The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Flaming Lips were one of the reasons how I got together with my husband, so it makes a lot of sense to me. I also love this song because it talks about how crazy the working life in a city can be, about love and survival really.
Early morning or late night?
Used to be late night, now it's early morning.
Vodka poured over lemon sorbet with arctic berries.
Favourite item in your wardrobe right now...
Haiti shirt is my treasure, it's one of the classics now in the collection and you can buy it at Young British Designers. From the current collection I wear Siru top with Japanese leather cowl with silk body. It looks and feels great in the most understated way. I also love all the collaboration pieces I did with super talented Emma J Shipley. You can shop those pieces on emmajshipley.com
One of your guilty pleasures...
Lipsticks, I could buy a new one every week. Last week I bought Laura Mercier Baby Lips. It's a lovely nude colour for summer.