I don't always dress up as a fairy princess—there are days that I could very easily be mistaken as a crazy homeless person with ripped jeans, sneakers and ten layers of sweaters.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kerti. I'm 22 years old and I live in Tartu, Estonia. I attend Estonian Academy of Arts and I'm currently tackling my second year of fashion design. I'm a passionate photographer and blogger and I also work as a freelance illustrator for an Estonian women and fashion magazine Anne & Stiil.
What are your biggest passions?
Illustrating, photography and fashion.
How did you first become interested in fashion and why is it important?
I remember being five or six and just spending hours and hours going through lingerie catalogs and drawing clothes and dresses on the ladies with my crayons. I guess that's where it all started.
I think fashion is an art form like any other. Except we have clothes and fabric as our paint and brushes, and people as our canvas. [The fun] thing about fashion is that you don't [have a] wall space in a gallery to display your “work.” Fashion is everywhere and the exposure is mind-blowing. The whole world is our audience.
How do you describe the fashion scene in Tartu, Estonia compared to other major cities or fashion capitals?
Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia and is home to Estonia's oldest and most renowned university, so everything here in centered around education and students. Fashion here is practical if anything, but of course there are some colorful exceptions.
What do you love about living in Tartu?
By far the best thing about living in Tartu or Estonia in general is that we have all four seasons, not only that, but we have them properly–in the winter there's snow up to your waist and -25°C, autumn comes with a million colors and constant rain, summer is as hot as ever and spring is simply delightful.
Tell us your top 3 places to visit in Estonia:
[The] Old City of Tallinn during winter, it's literally like a winter wonderland. Definitely Tartu during any time of the year–it's always so nice and I guess a hiking trip through the marshes would also be something one would find hard to forget.
Describe your personal style and its influences or inspirations.
Growing up with my big brother I was always a bit of a tomboy, as he was the "hero of my story" so to speak. It's hard to believe but at one point I was a full on rapper—baggy jeans, T-shirt that was literally down to my knees, the whole nine yards. But now that I'm grown up and left to my own devices, I guess I'm just trying to recreate all those childhood fairytales and princess stories that I somehow missed out on growing up. So I think my style is very feminine, whimsical and fun. But don't get me wrong, I don't always dress up as a fairy princess—there are days that I could very easily be mistaken as a crazy homeless person with ripped jeans, sneakers and ten layers of sweaters.
What are your favorite designers and places to shop?
I'm always fascinated by Mary Katrantzous' amazing ability to play with different patterns and prints. And I prefer to shop online, although digging trough H&M sale counters is always fun.
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
I always look for those little personal touches. This may sound really silly, but I think it's so heartwarming when someone is wearing, let's say, a little weird looking brooch or has a stuffed little animal on their keychain…and at first you think, "Boy that's ugly," but then you realize that it's probably made by their little brother or sister and it somehow gives you a sense of who they are as a person. For example, I love when people, despite the fact that it may not be the most fashionable look, wear big chunky mittens or a scarf that their grandma made, or they've added like a special little button to a new shirt or a favorite colored bow to a hat or whatever. It just always makes me think, "Hey‐they're human."
What do you skimp on?
This is quite embarrassing, but shoes. I don't know if it's my way of walking or what, but shoes usually don't last over a few weeks with me, so at one point I just stopped wasting my money on them.
What do you splurge on?
Art supplies, fabric and sweets.
A fashion rule you always break:
Less is more. So I say: the hell with it, more is better!
A fashion rule you never break:
I'm very clumsy. I always tend to break something :)
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
I do like a boy in a chick bow tie and suspenders. And a cute beret for the ladies.
Your favorite color(s) of the moment are:
Oh, this is an easy one–everything minty and fresh!
What is the ultimate showpiece in your closet?
My new camera bag that's completely covered with golden buttons. Such a delightfully practical and shiny little thing.
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
The lovely and talented Elizabeth Grant and of course icons like Audrey Hepburn.
What's on your iPod, bookstand & DVD player at the moment?
I've been actually listening to the radio a lot. But I do love Mumford and the Sons, Young Wonder, Patrick Wolf, Bon Iver, Alt J, The Cure, Death Cab for Cutie etc. Last book I read (well actually re-read) was The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. And during these gray winter days I try to entertain myself with some good humor so IT Crowd, Big Bang Theory and Family Guy are my weapons of choice. I don't watch a lot of movies, simply because I don't have time for them, but I do have my favourites that I like to re-watch from time to time like Mr. Nobody and 500 days of Summer.
What can't you live without?
My camera, eyeliner and fresh morning coffee.
Next place you want to travel to:
For some reason I'm drawn to the north—to Sweden and Norway, for example—to the mountains, to the snow and the cold. There's something very different and deeply beautiful about that.
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?
My favourite look has to be For the sun on my skin as the morning begins. It was the day I found out that I had been accepted to Estonian Academy of Arts to study fashion design. So it was just such a happy day for me. And my favourite look by another member is this gorgeousness by Annie.
In the year 2018, you will be:
In my own little atelier with indigo blue walls and deep oak floors, sipping coffee and working on my last piece for a gallery show in London. Ahh, lovely.
What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?
Never take fashion too seriously–I think it should be easy and fun and just take your mind places–like a good storybook.
Our last interviewee Gabriel W. wants to know: If you could switch lives with any person, who would it be?
It would be my little brother Marten. Simply because I would love to be a child again. Play and dream and discover. And have that sense of excitement for all the things that are yet to come and the comfort of thinking that everything is possible.
What should we ask the next interviewee?
If you were of the opposite sex what kind of clothing would you wear and how would you describe your style?