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May 23 - Sep 27

Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
Lai 17
  • lllustration by Anu Samarüütel (Estonia)

  • lllustration by Laura Laine (Finland)

  • Illustration by Cecilia Carlstedt (Sweden)


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“New Nordic Fashion Illustration Vol. 2” exhibition in Tallinn

The Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn, examines the latest advances of fashion illustration in a new exhibition that features the works of some of the most talented Nordic illustrators, paying tribute to their personal take on the ever-inspiring genre. Titled “New Nordic Fashion Illustration Vol. 2”, the exhibition is an excellent follow up of two previous exhibitions in Tallinn in 2011 and at the Helsinki Design Museum in 2012, which showed works by eight fashion illustrators from Finland, Sweden and Estonia. The new exhibition is an expanded version of the previous ones, featuring 21 artists in total and broadening the scope in order to include countries like Norway and Denmark.

“New Nordic Fashion Illustration Vol. 2”, offers a unique view of the much-talked Nordic creativity, showing how the illustrators of today are capable of re-interpreting past influences and tendencies, from the Renaissance, Art Nouveau and Art Deco to Pop Art and Japanese minimalism, blending hand-painting and the latest technological advances in order to create something original and unique. At the same time, the exhibition serves as a comment on the role of fashion illustration, a genre that has 500 years of history behind it and stands somewhere between advertising, consumerism and art, making it difficult for art critics and curators to define it, and consequently to give it the recognition it deserves. Under this perspective, the exhibition focuses on more commercial works, in an attempt to highlight their quality and artistic value.

The magic of fashion illustration lies in its paradoxicality, mirroring the modern consumer society on one hand, and remaining true to the fundamental values of the general European drawing tradition on the other hand,Toomas Volkmann, curator of the exhibition, said in a statement. Volkmann insists that there is a great deal of idealism and poetry hidden behind the genre, to the extent that fashion illustration offers a far more extensive and stimulating view on fashion than fashion photography, opening a door to a fantasy world where everything seems possible. Judging by the amazing selection of works on display at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, we couldn’t agree more with him!