Black Sheep


helsinki / finland

Graduation year


ensæmble is the love-child of Finnish-Belgian-Russian ambition and curiosity. Its independent spirit and itinerant practice account for works stemming from the in-betweens of fashion, art and craft. ensæmble was established in 2011 and is based in Helsinki. Next to a strong domestic presentation it has introduced works in Japan, Russia and Holland. The name ensæmble represents the firm belief in collaboration both as a requirement of the complexity of our time as well as something personally hugely inspiring. Its most intimate form is the æ, a chiasma of the initials of the two designers Alisa Närvänen and Elina Peltonen. From this intimacy all works are extended to incorporate other life-worlds and invite a polyphony of interpretations through both artist collaborations as well as the everyday actions of wearing the clothing. The clothes convey a silent yet strong presence. They are characterized by soft relaxed silhouettes and quality materials all made to be worn. The hand-craft features form unique detailing, which enriches the sober feel. Alisa and Elina met each other while studying in Aalto University of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2008. The duo is inspired by the costumes of orthodox Jewish men, adore paintings from the Flemish Primitives and are intrigued by alternative medicine. They listen to Tuxedomoon, Arthur Russel and Diamanda Galas. They collect shoes and old pictures of brides and would be very taken to see Marina Abramovic dressing in their clothes.

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