Creativity is, at its core, a beautiful collaborative experience. Paintings and sculptures are never born in isolation – they either evoke a response or are a response themselves to larger issues at hand. And as our Young Blood series has testified again and again, fashion is only one tool in the arsenal of these wonderful talents. Working seamlessly in tandem, we introduce designer Laura Juslin and architect Lilli Maunula of Juslin Maunula. The pair met during their time at Aalto University and with a mutual admiration of each other’s works, launched their first namesake collection together in 2015.
During last season’s Paris Fashion week, the pair were invited to the Pre Helsinki pajama party (which was unfortunately not a wild night of gossip and girl-talk, but rather a themed art-fashion installation that showcased Finnish talent to a global audience). Visually complex, the first few looks of their collection prompts comparison to the commonplace Manila folder in its papery texture and unobtrusive color. However, the functionality of drawstring closures was negated when applied solely as a visual element. Similarly, the side-split trousers should encourage comfortable mobility but in fact hindered it with exaggerated length. Maunula’s independent work in architecture keenly emphasizes how space is perceived, and her influence in the collection is highlighted through this juxtaposition of perceived versus functional design. Conversely, the whimsical nature of the bubble-wrap and glossy, vinyl coats seemed entirely of Juslin’s own accord. Fond of self-developed materials, the designer provided a tactile-stimulatory contrast to the papery surfaces seen at the collection’s start.
Soon to debut a preview of their Spring/Summer 2018 collection this month at the Pre Helsinki “Prenaissance” installation, Juslin Maunula will undoubtedly impress. Toeing the line between fashion, architecture and art, Juslin and Maunula are both helping to pave the way for new modes of joint artistic expression.