Teija’s Blog: Two Early Coffees and One Empty Questionnaire

In the morning of the Fashion Fringe technical day, I sat in a cafe opposite to LCF. I wanted to gather my thoughts and so ended up sitting there trying to spot the other Semi Finalists from their description on Fashion Fringe website.

There was a girl with a great pout and sunnies sitting outside with a super large ruler sticking out of her bag – tick. And at a cafe bar ordering there was another girl with a super long pony tail and face like Vita Gottlieb in the photo – tick. Vita and I chatted over coffee before heading in (- the girl with the pout followed us!). We all felt like it should be a massive ‘bang’ that we were all here now… it was a quieter ‘bang’ but none less exciting!

I felt elated asking the reception guy to direct us to the Fashion Fringe Technical Day. We introduced ourselves to the others already there and what surprised me, and perhaps others too, was how easy it was to share our experience so far and get to know what makes everybody tick. Either I have changed, or London has, but this was unusual for a fashion event…

Teija Eilola Fashion Fringe Technical Day sketches

Then the second morning of Semi Finals: the interviews at the Burberry with Christopher Bailey.

I was early yet again. But not alone. There was Haizhen Wang and me, sitting in the beautiful glass box in Burberry’s reception that they call the waiting room. You could also call it the retreat because the roof is very high, it’s insulated from the busy reception area and it has been filled with slick greyed-off matt sofas and chaise longues. Statuesque vases stood apart reminding me of nature somewhere outside.

Haizhen had not yet gone to sleep, sipping his Red Bull; I had eaten barely anything else except edamame beans and water. We wondered what was coming next: Haizhen was going to be the second to be interviewed and me the last.

We discovered that apparently while he hadn’t filled in some of the application in great detail, I had filled all parts meticulously… OK, so we are properly different, I thought. That could mean that whatever we do, it’s not going to be that similar and that thought felt incredibly liberating. Then Vita with her wonderful multicolor textiles was again the third point of the triangle…

At 7 o’clock that evening, Christopher Bailey pulled a little paper out of his pocket and announced the finalists… Vita, Haizhen and Me.

~ Teija

Christopher Bailey Fashion Fringe Finalists Vita Gottlieb Haizhen Wang Teija Eilola

About Author:

Teija Eilola is a 2012 Fashion Fringe Finalist. She gained a Distinction for her MA from the Royal College of Art, receiving the RSA Student Design Award in 2002. Teija has worked for both high street and high-end designers whilst setting up her own label. Originally from Finland, Teija’s favourite animal is a Finnish hare in winter.

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