On 10 May this year, the Art Academy of Latvia (AAL) Fashion Design Department lecturers together with invited industry professionals gathered to evaluate and select collections created by fashion design students for the annual AAL fashion show. All students from the 1st year of the Bachelor's programme to the 2nd year of the Master's programme participated in the selection process. In total, 19 collections were selected for the fashion show, which stood out for their creativity, remarkable quality and innovative design.

During the selection process, students presented not only the garments and fascinating stories about their creation process, but also the concept of the collection, the intended make-up and hair arrangements for the models, the accompanying accessories, the shoes and the music chosen for the show.

This year, young fashion designers reflected themes such as childhood memories and deeply personal stories, as well as equality issues and sustainable design solutions. The collections show a variety of experiments with materials, embroidery, knitting and patterns, as well as the use of unconventional techniques.

"In this year's fashion show, we will see how young fashion designers open themselves up to the possibility of any form, because it comes directly from dialogue, process and countless experiments. To find design, you have to go beyond it. It will be an opportunity to surprise, not to confirm!" says Agnese Narņicka, Head of the AAL Fashion Design Department.

The show will feature collections by: Dārta Sprukule (BA4), Pāvels Žeļezņaks (BA2), Ieva Mālmeistere (MA2), Elizabete Meisīte (BA2), Annija Pauzere, Estere Līva Logina and Marta Laure (BA1), Santa Kirmuža-Svilāne (BA2), Alberts Žitņevs and Elvis Keišs (BA1), Alise Sedliņa-Brūdere (BA2), Līva Ejuba (BA3), Džeina Lubāne (BA4), Nils Alencevičš (BA3), Asnāte Ildze Egle (BA3), Krišjānis Brasliņš (BA2), Artūrs Skurstenis (BA3), Jurģis Emīls Liepiņš (BA2), Zaiga Brutāne (MA2), Letícia Orlova (BA2), Krišjānis Pērkons (BA3), and Alice Paškovska (BA4).

AJ Power Recycling and AAL Clothing Recycling Collection

"In a world where fashion is often associated with fast consumption and disposability, the collaboration project and competition "Revival" between LMA and waste management company AJ Power Recycling aims to offer an alternative approach to fashion design students, where students' experiments and intensive creative practice involve an emotional connection with the viewer. It is through this prism that fashion can become a powerful tool for self-expression and positive change in textile sustainability solutions. By creating a connection between the wearer and the garment, fashion becomes more than just a superficial trend. It becomes a way for individuals to express their values, beliefs and identity. By sharing stories about the reasons behind the creation of a garment, designers create a connection with the wearer, while also fostering mutual empathy," says Agnese Narņicka, Head of the AAL Fashion Design Department.

The fashion show will also present sponsor awards.

Laura Strode Support grant for creative work. The scholarship is intended for a student of BA or MA in Fashion Design at the AAL as a one-off support for creative work for high results in the study process. The scholarship is provided by Roberts Blumbergs and Rita Andersone. The amount of the scholarship is 1000 EUR.

With a focus on sustainable art and design, this year's event focuses on textile reuse. As part of the "Revival" competition, the author of the most creative, sustainable and innovative garment will receive a special prize from AJ Power Recycling. The prize is a trip of inspiration and experience to the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories in Hyères, France this October. Zaiga Brutāne, Vitālijs Kondraščuks, Nils Alencevičs, Krišjānis Brasliņš, Letīcija Orlova, Marta Laure will present their collections at the end of the fashion show. The garments of the "Revival" collection are 100% created from the raw materials handed over in textile containers.

The AAL Fashion Show will take place on May 30th at 7 pm in the VEF Quarter Summer House. The show is one of the largest and most important platforms for new fashion and design in Latvia, promoting the development of the fashion industry, and will take place for the 31st time. Tickets for the event are available here.

The best design works from the graphic, product, interior, and metal design specialisations of the AAL Design Department will be on display on the 1st floor of the AAL main building (Kalpaka Boulevard 13) from June 6th to July 14th in the exhibition "Design Days".

"Design Days" will include a fashion design student showroom, where you can see this year's collections up close and watch two films dedicated to the students' creativity, behind-the-scenes work, and surprising results.

"Design Days" have been running since 2007. They are organised by the Art Academy of Latvia's Design Department, which has five specialisations: graphic, product, interior, metal, and fashion design, with 208 students studying in the bachelor's and master's programmes. This year, the exhibition will also be attended by students of the international master's programme in Service Design Strategy and Innovation (SDSI).