Designer Tuomas Merikoski investigates long-term core ideals such as classicism, sustainability, pragmatism, utilitarianism and resistance for this fifth AALTO collection: Paradise Lost.

AALTO establishes a parallel between liberal freethinking, feminism and ancient, secret societies, such as freemasonry, who through the use of complex symbols and rituals have established a structured belief system that fuses nature, science, and mysticism.

Merging resistance, subculture, fantasy and an inclusive reality AALTO draws on this symbolism to create uniforms for the yet to be born travelers, and the next generation of great explorers, and resilient women who navigate their own course, seen in the airbrushed fantasy prints within the collection.

The collection’s vision of the future has echoes of Blade Runner juxtaposing the old and with the new; creating a quasi-chaotic aesthetic, as opposed to a future that is sterile and dehumanized as seen in Gattaca, another film that has had a strong influence on the collection.

In our commitment to these core ideals this season sees several collaborations:
With Saga Furs, sharing the principles of ethics and sustainability. It is fur-making in a certified and traceable way and providing superior quality. The collaboration proposes a new technique in collaboration with the Finnish based company — air-galloning — allowing for wonderfully light fur garments, and ensuring precious use of this material to create responsible, lasting and natural products.

With NEWLIFEDOWN, using 100% RCS certified post-consumer recycled down for the pieces, fabricated by Duvetica. The recycled down jackets are reversible and blanket extendable, and they come in chevron dark red nylon and rustic cotton stripe.

Continuing from our previous collaboration with Swarovski, also strong proponents of sustainability, we created exclusive motifs using the razor-defined Crystal Fabric graphic design technique. The many faceted stones come in the key colors of the season: emerald green, amber, yellow and bright red.

A strong sartorial slant interplays with the volume and choice of materials, arriving at a punk energy, contrasted again with the classical concept of ‘uniform’ and the utilization of technical fabrics from the world of skiing, mountaineering, and trekking.

Colors vary from dark, classic browns and grays to bright punk red or intense yellow and nude tone. Stripes are prominent and varied, from the rigid pin stripe to a multicolor swirl. Brushed mohair comes in lean, long coats and jacquard knits, whilst classic tailoring can be seen in the micro-drawing, retro satin structures, and classic chalk stripes.

Emerald green is a key season highlight, used as a representation of youth, as a symbol of love, and hope for renewal and growth. It is also a touch of primary eco-colour, a symbol of a future, evergreen world.

The ‘Paradise Lost’ fantasia prints present a Lapland of naturist women in harmony with their surroundings, as a nod to the matriarchal societies of pre history, using the computerized airbrush technique by commissioned Finnish artist Sami Saramäki.

The key silhouette is lean and long. Panels, pleats, and drapes are reworked in dresses, shirts, trousers and skirts. By contrast, technical ski gear inspires jersey sets, and shirts come with witty, sporty details, such as removable or multifunctional collars.

With both travel and function in mind, AALTO shoes feature our square toe staples — Bianca, Cover, Ziggy, Donna, as well as a new brogue-inspired line, with the Zombie and Zombie Trek brogue models, featuring snaps and multi-closing systems, supplied by removable waterproof covers.

Kim Harding’s set for this runaway — an outlawed installation — consists of a skeletal structure covered with a patchwork of paper and plastic as a nod to futuristic architectural construction.

Photos by Guillaume Roujas