Check in time for desire


Baltic culture, as a method, as a state of mind: the foundations of a poetic born in Estonia but that speaks all the languages of the world.

© Ardo Kalijuvee

National pride. In Riina Laanetu’s poetic, the wording “Made in Estonia” includes and goes beyond a productive geographical derivation to become a programmatic manifesto, a declaration of intent, a joyful affirmation of belonging to a country, the cities, monuments and wonders of which never cease to amaze, but which, unfortunately we would say, amaze more foreigners than natives.

Riina, who launched her first La Famiglia Couture collection back in 2016, has conceived all the subsequent collections as a sort of miracle, if we can use that term, working on the codes associated with a specific sartorial territory, highly appreciated by a wide range of customers on the international jet set.

A style that speaks of tailoring tradition and quality of fabric, but with such precision in the details and the search for secrets only found in a heritage of experience. A strong tradition, rooted in her even before taking her first steps in this sector, designing clothes for ballroom dancers, bikini fitness and figure skaters.

But this never hindered her open outlook and vision of both present and future. On the contrary, from these roots she worked hard to venture into new, ever more fascinating worlds.

© Ekaterina Pikalova

From these very “new worlds” have come new fans of the brand, and travellers revisiting the voyage en Estonia sung by poets of the likes of Marie Under or Nikola Madzirov and today extolled by women armed with smartphones taking selfies in the most evocative corners of the city squares. 

The models in her latest show were all of different ethnicity, precisely because they’re called to interpret this new diktat, not just about clothes and accessories, but culture, lifestyle and the concept of feeling good in your own skin as well.

Reigning over everything, a sense of passion, a feeling that’s always fed into the designer’s aesthetic, enriching it with new codes of sensuality, blending it with the classic austere, mixing precious fabrics with simpler materials.

Memory is fundamental, because nothing new and creative can ever be invented again and because everything is based on a story of the memories we continually drawn on. Estonia has such infinite ideas to offer, simply by looking at it each time from different angles. Simply imagining the workshops of tailors long ago, and then the boutiques. Art and artisanship: a combination handed down the generations to become a latter-day heritage. And here we have it, the triumph of handwork in the La Famiglia Couture collection, a festival of colour, beauty and great mood showing through in the accessories, just as in the pearl jewels realized with extreme craftsmanship, the embroidery and the applications on dresses. A savoir faire constantly in-line with the times, skilfully applied to objects of the contemporary.

© Taavi Luhamaa

Not without reason we end with Riina’s own words: “We need to understand the contemporary where clothes and accessories are the atlases of emotion, and maps to rewrite desires”.