Tuomas Merikoski focused on headgear this season, adding his contribution to a current industry obsession. This included: beret-topped hoodies, patterned silk scarves tied neatly under the chin, knit cagoules, detachable rain gear and a hooded dress — topped with a matching beret, perched to the side, military style.
“So we’ve got a lot of pieces with integrated hats. I really like that inner beauty — the face is it, you don’t need to have a great body — you really see people through their face,” he remarked before the show.
It was more than just a lot of hats, and the focus added elegance — even if the headscarves were worn with slightly less flourish than Jackie-O had — to a collection that celebrated diversity.
Trousers were cut handsomely, high-waisted, with the occasional extra fold in front — a signature Aalto flare. Chunky chain-linked jewelry, layered on top of sleeves and over turtlenecks, was another dressy touch. Bulky knits were cut in a sleek manner, with long sweaters and a short miniskirt that had arms serving as a belt, wrapped around the waist.
The logo this season was Finlaand — of Aalto — as indicated by the words scrawled below the prominent stamp in varsity lettering, kicking off the show on a black, hooded sweatshirt. Merikoski has been known to play around with logos, including fake ones, as commentary, but they have receded lately. Here, again, it was less about logos per se, and more of an introduction to a collection that hinged on diversity and evolving identities — the Finland of Merikoski’s universe.
“It doesn’t mean that when you’re Finnish, for example, you can’t be whatever you feel like…it’s like they say, that everybody’s different,” he said, backstage before the show. Models were cast from the street — and own the catwalk, they did. The show was held on an upper floor of Galeries Lafayette, with some of the pieces for sale in the department store, the label’s first venture into see-now-buy-now territory.
Adding to the temptation to get stuck on the accessories, were some sharp-looking boots, in exotic animal skin patterns, a tad roomier in front of the leg, in a way that felt reptilian — as if slightly inflated to scare off an enemy.