"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!