Eco Furs Convertible Coat by Heli Miikkulainen-Gilbert

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Eco Furs

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Convertible Coat

INSPIRATION:
I was inspired by the busy career ladies in a need of an intelligent wardrobe and the woolen Scandinavian Rya Rug textiles which, according to the history books, the Vikings used to wrap around themselves on their sea journeys instead of animal skins as the airy woolen rug was lightweight and kept them warm even when a swollen sea soaked them through. I reinterpreted the old textile, hand tufted by using the traditional Rya sewing technique, in a modern way by creating fitted functional garments.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The woolen hand tufted coats are like fur coats in terms of their performance, the difference is in detail, wearability, functionality and animal and environment friendliness. Being constructed of 4 different panels this coat can be 7-in-1. For that reason it makes, for example, a wonderful, money and time saving travel companion. Due to the timeless design and carefully tested durable high quality materials it makes a life time companion.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The zips hidden under the tuft in the coat's horizontal cuts allow one to adjust the hem and sleeve length to go with many outfits in many occasions. Without the sleeves the coat can be used as a dress. Without the hem it is a short or long sleeved bolero. Women with a straight body type can wear the hem alone as a skirt. When traveling one can wear the whole coat and pack only her lighter items in the hand baggage, then accessorize them with the coat panels at the destination, which means no extra fees or queues.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This piece is a part of my very first tufted fashion collection that I started creating in autumn 2009 in Roundwood, Ireland and launched in full at the Showcase 2013 trade show in Dublin, Ireland in January 2013. It took 25 full days to put together this particular coat.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Handmade. Produced in small series of standard sizes or made-to-measure. The base coat is first tailored from durable jute canvas and lined with durable polyester satin or alternatively pure silk. Then the coat is tufted by using traditional Scandinavian Rya Rug Sewing Technique with pure lambswool that is specially spun so the threads will not unravel at the cut. The end result is similar to the tufted textiles made on the loom yet lighter, and this technique also allows one to create tufted products of different shapes.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Ladies size EU38, UK8-10, US 6-8. The coat comes with complimentary black reusable, shower proof yet breathable suit carrier bag with an outside pocket, handles and a detachable brand logo key ring-address tag. A functional black wooden hanger is also included. The coat is to be professionally dry cleaned, however stain removal at the stained area can be done by following wool hand wash instructions. Comprehensive care instructions are attached.

TAGS:
faux furs, ecological, tufted, ryijy, Rya, lambswool, fur coat, convertible

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
I made my very first tufted coat in 2000. Over the past 12 years I have created different variations of them which have been tested by myself, family and friends in different European climates for a decade. It has helped me to develop their properties into perfection, today's result being a compact hand made collection which due to its novelty and functionality was warmly welcomed at Showcase 2013 by Irish retail professionals. Following their advise the sales focus on very top-end independent boutiques and it is sold in small limited edition series or as one-off pieces so.

CHALLENGE:
To find a luxurious material combination that would make the tufted garments last hard wear day after day, for a life time, like the Vikings tufted wraps would have done at the time. After testing my very first coat for 5 winters daily and deliberately putting the coat under lots of pressure, some wear and tear appeared in the original silk satin lining. I replaced it with thick polyester satin lining which after another 5 winters still looks like new, like the tightly spun tuft and the dense jute canvas base cloth do, too.

ADDED DATE:
2013-09-26 23:49:09

TEAM MEMBERS (1) :


IMAGE CREDITS:
Image #1: Photographer William Walsh, Model Eve Sagan, Makeup Carolina Pinciuk, Hair Vicky Gorman, Location Hartley's Dún Laoghaire, 2012.
Image #2: Gráinne Walsh, ProShots Dublin, 2012.
Image #3: Photographer William Walsh, Model Eve Sagan, Makeup Carolina Pinciuk, Hair Vicky Gorman, Location Hartley's Dún Laoghaire, 2012.
Image #4: Photographer William Walsh, Model Eve Sagan, Makeup Carolina Pinciuk, Hair Vicky Gorman, Location Hartley's Dún Laoghaire, 2012.
Image #5: Photographer William Walsh, Model Eve Sagan, Makeup Carolina Pinciuk, Hair Vicky Gorman, Location Hartley's Dún Laoghaire, 2012.
Video credits:
Photographers William Walsh and Gráinne Walsh, Model Eve Sagan, Makeup Carolina Pinciuk, Hair Vicky Gorman, Location Hartley's Dún Laoghaire, 2012.

Visit the following page to learn more: http://heli.ie
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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Heli Miikkulainen-Gilbert

PROFILE:
Heli MG is a Finnish luxury fashion brand founded in Ireland in 2008 by fashion designer-maker Heli Miikkulainen-Gilbert. It represents high-end coats and accessories, woolen Eco Furs, for busy ladies who opt for one-off and functional day-to-day fashion. The hand-tufted garments are like furs in terms of their performance. The difference is in detail and animal and environment friendliness. Majority of the pieces being convertible they make, for example, wonderful travel companions.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Eco Furs Convertible Coat by Heli Miikkulainen-Gilbert is a Nominee in Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Eco Furs Convertible Coat by Heli Miikkulainen-Gilbert is Winner in Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design Category, 2013 - 2014.

· Read the interview with designer Heli Miikkulainen-Gilbert for design Eco Furs here.

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