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Insider's view · Europe · estonia · Tallinn

Insider: Marit Ilison


The artist and fashion designer Marit Ilison has been making waves in the Estonian fashion scene for a number of years now. Marit has her own way of approaching fashion - rather than focusing on trends, she wants the clothes she designs to be like quiet and faithful companions for the person wearing them.
Marit Ilison received her MA in Fashion Design from the Estonian Academy of Arts and gained experience in London, Copenhagen, Antwerp, Paris and Berlin. She is currently lecturing at the Estonian Academy of Arts, creating and executing personal projects as well as playing drums in a Tallinn based psychedelic group Väljasõit rohelisse.
Marit kindly shared her feel about her city with us!

What do you love most about living in Tallinn?
Quiet pace, lot of trees, my studioflat and friends. Amazing power of light in the Spring- and Summertimes.

Is there anything you hate about Tallinn?
I don't hate anything, but I don't like that it's so complicated and expensive to travel anywhere from here or get anything delivered here form abroad. And I don't like that it's very complicatd to get around with bike sometimes, the bicycle roads could be developing faster.

What should one definitely do to catch the vibe of Tallinn in all its diversity?
Maybe take tram number 2 from the far end of Kopli to the end of Lasnamäe.

Which are your favourite design and architecture landmarks in Tallinn?
Streets of Kalamaja, especially Linda street. Building at Paldiski mnt 9 and some old houses in Kadriorg and Kopli. Linnahall is also a crazy monumental "buliding", wouldn't call a favourite though.

What is your favourite Tallinn's neighborhood and why?
Kalamaja, because I live here. Compared to big cities like London or Paris, Kalamaja and its small wooden houses feel like from another reality or dreamland. I like the feeling of seeing wood around me - it's calm and quiet and allows you to breathe. My studio is overlooking the roofs and yards of Kalamaja - so nice and green!

Could you name your five favourite restaurants/cafés in Tallinn?
Aed, F-Hoone, NO99, Klaus, 24h café at Balti jaam (greasy pies for night time ♥)

How do you characterize Tallinn's current fashion scene?
It's vivid, very versatile and developing very quickly. A lot of designers are doing their own thing and hopefully costumers will follow them and hopefully some will also break through to the international scene.

What is the biggest stereotype about Tallinn? Why is it or is it not true?
It's hard for me to tell. Maybe this that we are like Russia? Or we are underdeveloped? I don't know. When people come here, they are often surprised how developed and hi-tech we are. Wifi everywhere and e-Country sound a little surreal for many.

Can you tell us a secret about Tallinn?
I can't, it wouldn't be a secret anymore

How would you describe the people of Tallinn?
It's all vey different, but generally people are very simple. And serious. No fuzz.

Describe your perfect day in the city...
I usually don't hang out in the city, but if I find any free time, then going to a café with my brother or friends, biking around the city to discover the places I'm not familiar with and have a picnic in a park or by the sea in Kalarand.

Read an interview with Marit Ilison by

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