Riikka Couture: Riikka Ikäheimo the Designer

Ida Nyrhinen

Ida Nyrhinen

"I want to empower women and make them feel confident and beautiful. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and sometimes the right gown can bring you the self-confidence and reflect your true beauty to the outside."

Riikka Ikäheimo is the heart of Riikka Couture. Helsinki-born 28 year old Riikka Ikäheimo started Riikka Couture in 2014 and her dresses have been seen in Finnish galas and our famous Indepence Day Ball on multiple public figures and celebrities.

IVALO interviewed Riikka to get to know her better and talk about her dreams for the future.

Riikka Couture

"Creativity is a part of me. I noticed that by creating something beautiful I can bring joy and happiness to the people wearing my designs."

What is your first memory about fashion?
I wouldn't specify this as a fashion memory but the moments when I've noticed my interests towards style and glamour begun when I was helping my mother choose evening gowns as a child. I always admired my mother's style. I can still remember the feeling. My mother is my biggest role model and I've learned everything I know about pure beauty from her. I want my own brand to embody just that. I also remember watching old time movies after school with my father and thinking about how amazing Marilyn Monroe looked in her sparkly dress. Old time glamour made my heart stop and the classic style icons took my breath away. Elegance is the most beautiful thing I've seen to this day and I hope to create that type of fashion in my own work, rather than making something that vanishes as fast as it is born. I want to create timeless designs and heart-stopping creations that bring confidence to their owner. I think being stylish is always in fashion. Trends come and go, but style remains.

What inspired you to start Riikka Couture?
Passion is beautiful. I couldn't imagine a life without the chance to create. As a child before even talking or walking I was already drawing. I loved it! I drew a lot and creating beautiful things has been a way of experiencing the world around me. It is a way of knowing who I am and what I'm feeling. Creativity is a part of me. I also noticed that by creating something beautiful I can bring joy and happiness to the people wearing my designs. The idea behind launching my name brand is based on creating my dream world and see it come to life. I want to enable beauty and empower women with my designs. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and sometimes you just need the right dress to make that dream come true and really bring forth your inner beauty.

Why did you focus on evening gowns?  
They inspired me at the time and they still do.

How have you learned to make these amazing creations?
I never went to a industry school (I never got accepted) and I learned to sow all by myself, alone at home. I ripped my old clothes a part and created something completely new from the pieces. I bought old curtains from flea markets and made evening gowns from them. I practiced at home sowing everything I could think of. It took me a while to find my own unique style. Only when I moved to Paris (years 2012-2013) I found this amazing sparkling lace fabric which has become my signature fabric. I knew I had just found the corner stone of my own brand when I got my hands on tht piece of delicate fabric. The rest is as they say; history. As a designer I think it's important to find your own voice and make it known. You can learn anything if you just want it hard enough. It takes time and a lot of hard work, but in the end it's all worth it!

How do you choose the materials to your evening gowns?
Usually I visualize the dress in my mind and hunt the fabric of my dreams for a long time. In my newest collection the fabrics have been chosen after my vision, quality and also with comfort in mind. I want my dresses to be extravagant but comfortable. I was extremely careful with my T-shirt Capsule Collection because I wanted the best cut and material.

Your dresses are amazing and really detailed, what is the designing process like when making a gown?
I have never different processes. When I'm creating lace couture dresses I never plan anything. I can see the dress clearly in my mind and I put it together when the inspiration strikes. Usually I sow in the evening and night. I make everything by myself from start to finish and that is the reason why the process is so unique. Also, I never use patterns. As a self-taught designer I have my own way of seeing and creating and it has worked really well! And then there is the commercial creating process with my new upcoming collection that I won't be sowing myself. I have had to modify my own ways because there are people working for me. It is really important for me that all my personnel is having fun and that my ideas are easily transmitted from my head to theirs. This is why I sketch my creations on paper and we go through them together and make samples for the dresses. After this we made the modifications and start the manufacturing process. I am so happy with my amazing team and I wouldn't be able to do this without them. When I told my vision to my T-shirt manufacturer we went through the cut, samples and after this the production could start. I love it when I have the freedom to be creative in every step of the process!

Riikka Couture

"Often the little pleasures in your everyday life are the most important. I want to make clothes that go with you in joy and happiness!"

You will be showing your collection in Paris this Autumn, how do you feel?
Fabulous. Paris is the place where I found my style and now I have chance to go back there. Paris still feels like my second home and while living there I was always dreaming of an opportunity like this. I can't believe it's going to happen so soon!

What is your biggest dream for the future? 
To see my creations on women all over the world! That is why I created my T-shirt Capsule Collection, this way everyone can be a part of my journey of becomming a household name. Often the little pleasures in your everyday life are the most important. I want to make clothes that go with you in joy and happiness!

Do you style icons? Onko sinulla tyyli-idoleita? 
My mother. Grace Kelly and Lady Diana. My greatest icon has to be Britney Spears, who has had the tittle ever since I was a child. It was my biggest dream to meet her some day. 17 years later my dream came true and I got make a dress for her and deliver it to her in person.

What is your own favorite fashion brand?
I love Dior collections from the 50's and the creations of Hamda Al Fahim.

What is trest of the year looking like for Riikka Couture?
Busy, growing, happy and grateful.

Riikka Couture x IVALO T-Shirt Capsule Collection is now available on IVALO.com. Act fast and get yourself a wonderful piece of design.

Ida Nyrhinen

Ida Nyrhinen

Brand & Marketing Manager

ida@ivalo.com

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