Petra Lehtinen wins Näytös24 award

The awards from the graduation collections of MA and BA students from Aalto ARTS were presented on May 30th, 2024, as a part of the Näytös24 fashion show and Näyttely24 exhibition. You can see all the awards here.

The Näytös24-award went to Petra Lehtinen for her MA thesis collection av yv. The jury for the award consisted of Stephanie D’Heygere, Annabel Fernandes, Ane Lynge-Jorlén and Antti Kekki.

Read the description of Petra’s work below.


Petra Lehtinen’s graduation collection “av yv”


Petra Lehtinen’s graduate collection “av yv” (meaning: an online marketplace shorthand term in Finnish and translates as “preliminary reservations, direct message”) explores garments that are removed from the wardrobe, but which are still kept by storing them in personal storage spaces. By studying the significance of archives in fashion, the concept of the collection is to bring clothes back from the archives, and to transform them from being unnecessary and space-consuming to being important by naming them as an actual archive. This act has guided Lehtinen’s creative process while also serving all the material for the new collection.

– Despite my initial intention to sell or repurpose clothes, they persisted in storage, lingering in bags and vacuum- sealed pouches, shuttling from one storage location to another during my relocations. This collection delves into capturing the intricate relationship that consumers, especially myself, have with garments in the era of mass consumption, Lehtinen explains.

Lehtinen sees the absurdity of contemporary consumption culture as worth documenting. Inspired by art movements like Nouveau Realisme and the Duchampian readymades, the collection involves direct appropriation of reality, such as garments sealed in vacuum bags. Lehtinen also drew inspiration from individual garments from the archive and how clothes are typically combined and layered in them. One of the designer’s once cherished objects was a silk shirt with an apple print and the text “SILK APPLE IN PARADISE”. It also engendered Lehtinen’s method of a “serpent-cut technique”, where archive pieces are combined with a spiralling cut.

– I identify with the sentiment expressed by the artist Andrea Zittel who finds satisfaction in self-made creative constraints. Similarly, my work questions what freedom really means as it is framed by capitalist society – perhaps the only way to be free is to make our own rules and criteria that fit within the rules already placed upon us.

By choosing to work with readymade materials, Lehtinen’s aim was to redirect the time designers usually spend browsing through fabric suppliers to the creative work and problem-solving. The temporal
aspect also connected to the concept of the archive by acknowledging that it has actually taken years to subconsciously collect the items in it.


Photo: Kristian Presnal