Siiri’s confidence translates into her designs, she nonchalantly chats away about her collection and all of her ideas behind it. Portraits by Malian photographer Malick Sidibé from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s were the starting point for her collection, which she has diligently constructed around the images that inspired her. Looking to her two favourite books Malick Sidibé: Chemises and Malick Sidibé: La Vie en Rose as a catalyst for her imagination, it was the shapes and patterns of the models’ clothing in the photos that influenced her work. Examining the clothing within these portraits inspired experimentation with pattern cutting, where she would mimic the shapes and folds she could see. Taking the silhouettes from the traditional clothing worn in the photos, Siiri has translated these into her own work, to a point where even the black and white background from one of the portraits has been interpreted into a shirt for her collection. Combining these images with the attitude of London’s 1980’s youth movements, she would find images in old issues of The Face, i-D and Blitz magazines to pore over. She seeks inspiration from the early work of John Galliano, Christopher Nemeth and Vivienne Westwood, where the aesthetics of the buffalo movement act as the backbone to her research. The idiosyncratic silhouettes of these references can be seen throughout her collection, which fabricate an overarching sense of youth.
Working with pattern cutting rather than draping, Siiri makes her own patterns beginning with a block and subsequently, dramatically, transforming them. The garments gather around the waist and envelop the body, creating recognisable silhouettes with a twist. A pair of trousers, for example, feature a long crotch at the front with a shortened seam at the back, with seams to make the leg wrap around the back of itself.