Friday, 15 May 2020 19:00
Estonian Life No. 19 2020 - Vincent Teetsov
Spring is here, and you might be looking through your closet wondering how you can freshen up your look. Here are 10 Estonian-made/designed items that are built to last.
1) Duchess of Lore: Celestial Poly Chiffon Scarf
(50 Canadian dollars)
Ashley Lennox, an Estonian-Canadian illustrator and crafter based in Toronto, created this mystical scarf. It elicits feelings of long sunny days and mysterious summer nights. At 50”x50”, it's long enough to cover your neck and shoulders to protect from the sun or to wear as you go for an evening stroll.
2) Wooden Lifestyle: Balendin wooden bowtie
A fast Estonian favourite, this particular tie stands out with its light colour and natural wood patterns. The fabric in the middle, which then ties nicely around and under your shirt collar, can complement another trace of blue in your formal get-up.
3) Tanel Veenre Jewellery: Fruits of Doris earrings
These earrings are made of cubic zirconia, wood, silver, and “cosmic dust” as described by award-winning jewellery designer Tanel Veenre. The cherry red stones balance the teardrop shape of the earrings. The brand's slogan is “Kingdom of Dreams”, and indeed, this unusual shape is dream-like, almost like a tropical fruit.
4) Aegaon: Tabula Rasa 44 quartz watch
“Aegaon” is a reference to the Estonian phrase “Aega on” (as in “take your time”). Aegaon's ethos is one of making time and space for your own way of life.
The watch face is 44mm in diameter, about 5mm larger than normal, with the crown placed prominently on the upper left edge of the watch face, making for a confident timepiece. The Ronda caliber 17 Swiss quartz movement in place is claimed to make the internal battery last for 60 months.
5) PRII: soft cotton hommikumantel (bathrobe) with silk collar
If you're outside of the city this summer, you may indulge in some sauna and lake swimming. On a cool, misty morning, you might go out on a dock with a nice cup of coffee. In both instances, despite it being summer, you'd benefit from a comfortable robe to cut the cold a little bit. All of these robes are sewn in Estonia, with soft fabric that's agreeable and comfortable against skin. This particular robe stands out with its contrasting paisley trim cuffs and silk collar.
6) Katre Arula Meistrikoda: MARIE Yellow handbag
Working from her seasonal studio in Põltsamaa Castle, Katre Arula personally makes each of these bags, including the delicate velvet roses on the front. As an added bonus, these bags are sustainably manufactured out of the leftover material of furniture production. There's plenty of interesting background story as to how this bag was created, which will bring lots of character and personality to your wardrobe.
7) Estcraft: Long linen trousers
How do you like to spend the spring and summer? Playing frisbee on the beach? Woodworking outside? No matter the activity, these breezy linen trousers will keep you cool outside and can be ironed nicely and matched with a dress shirt if the occasion calls for it. These trousers are relaxed and smart at the same time.
8) Népra: Fortuna logo top
This top is soft and breathable, with a medium-high neckline, comfortable for intense sports like weightlifting and rock climbing, where you need lots of space and flexibility to move your arms.
Though Népra's designers are Finnish, they chose to partner with Kamilla, a manufacturer in Tallinn. The 13 women of Kamilla, along with the two women who founded Népra, work with dedication to produce active wear that considers ergonomics and style, but also ethics in terms of the environmental impact of the materials they use.
9) MyGrannySocks: Granny knit woolen socks
(48.81 Canadian dollars)
Wouldn't it be nice to have socks made with love and care? This Saaremaa vanaema (grandma) hand-knits socks just like that: socks that could be worn over athletic socks when you go on long hikes. They'll keep your feet comfortable. Plus, the beauty of wool is that even if it gets wet, you stay warm.
10) TOKU: “Helsinki” men's leather sandals
Wide soles, comfortable padding, and distinguished brown leather: TOKU makes these sandals in the town of Kirumpää in Võru county, building on a 93-year tradition of making shoes. It's a tradition that will serve your feet well!
I hope this list has given you some inspiration for the next few months. Even just one of these 10 items of clothing and accessories can spiff up your style in a noticeable way.
Written by Vincent Teetsov