Kuutar, Vellamo and feelings in designing

Designing a garment starts begins with a feeling. And there are many of them. Maybe it is what I want to show with my garment. Maybe I wish to fell some feeling myself and create that mood with a garment. Maybe I wish to higlight a part of body. Anyhow, every piece is somethig I would like to wear myself.

Naming products isn’t always easy. Often they are unnamed in the designing process and I pick the name after using my intuition. A name must feel like it belongs to the garment. A garment must look like it’s name. I figured I could shortly tell about how I name my products.

Kuutar

That Kuutar, beautiful maiden,

miss Päivätär, able,

held their reeds,

lifted their heddles,

weaved golden fabric,

did silvery fabric

at a red cloud,

on the side of the long arc.

-Kalevala, 41. poem, lines 103-110

(my translation based on my interpretation)

Kuutar is one of the nature’s maidens alonside with Päivätär and Otavatar. She is the maiden of Moon whereas Päivätär is the maiden of Day and Otavatar the maiden of constellation called Otava (Great bear). Both Kuutar and Päivätär are often mentioned in old poems, including Kalevala, waeving beautiful fabrics and clothes. They have moon’s gold and day’s silver as their materials of which the make the incredible clothes desired by everyone. And, what I find adorable, is that bees, birds of air, birds of hiisi, are their children.

As I was designing this skirt I was looking for a strong and feminine shape. I love asymmetric hems and that was the starting point of Kuutar. I wanted it to simple but bold. And pockets, definitely.

Kuutar got it’s name in the collection for it’s beauty as well as for my for the moon. For me it stands for something fragile and beautiful, yet strong and mystical; same feelings I get from Kuutar-skirt.

Vellamo

Vellamo, mistress of water

Lady of water with reeds on her chest!

Come, quick, to adjust a shirt,

changing a cloth!

You have that shirt of reeds

wearing a cloak of ocean foam

made by the daughter of wind

given by maiden of waves

I’ll give you shirt

that is the purest linen

It is made by Kuutar

weaved by Päivätär

-Kalevala, 48. poem, lines 123-134

(my translation based on my interpretation)

Vellamo is a beautiful ruler of water, mistress of water, the goddess of water. She rules her ”fishy manor” with her spouse, Ahti. Fish are her cattle so whenever going fishing she was asked to to give good prey along with the help of magic words and other tricks like spitting on the fishing rod or knocking on the bottom of the boat. Also the weather on the water was ruled by Vellamo and she was to be asked for good weather and calm waters. When reading old poems it is clear her clothes are not too pretty despite her status. She is wearing foam of the sea and reeds on her chest, what ever it means. So she is lured into changing clothes as in the poem above.

I named the collar as Vellamo since the scarf reminds of waves. Also I think it is strong and bold element that gives posture to it’s wearer just as how I think Vellamo is as a person, a strong woman. Let alone how Vellamo barely has any clothes.

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