SO COVERED, YET SO NAKED

In her works, the Finnish designer Jenny Hytönen designs around the motif of bare skin reflecting a bared, vulnerable soul. Among these also is the Cyborg Bride, a piece including a flashing heartbeat sensor embedded among tens of thousands of beads, a literal heart on one’s sleeve. Today, Jenny goes into her inspirations, motives and desires to shed more light on her artistic process.

First, I congratulate you on winning the 37th Hyères Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision and the Audience Award 2022. Your collection is an outstanding combination of sensitivity and roughness and also seems very personal. What is the main message behind it? 

Thank you! My collection can be seen as a kind of a self-portrait, but also a reflection of the world we live in. It is all about the fine line of finding a balance between these two extremes; it is almost as if these pieces I have created want to destroy each other, but they still manage to live in perfect harmony. I wanted to create garments that demand space for the wearer, that is why the materials I used play with these auras of roughness and reflections.

I’m interested in the last look, “Cyborg Bride”. What is the story you want to convey through the final look?  

The final look, Cyborg Bride, was the last look I created for this collection. Under the veil of over 25000 reflective glass beads is a heartbeat body sensor that detects and shows the wearer’s heartbeat with a pulsating light. The idea was to do something utterly romantic and sincere. To be covered, yet so naked and honest at the same time – because you cannot fake your heartbeat, you cannot fake your feelings. I find it very poetic.

Can you also talk about the creative process behind the collection? Is there any team behind you? 

I have done this collection with my tiny hands in my apartment in Helsinki. Just sitting all day with my knitting machine and placing beads to the knits with a tiny hook only using fishing line and glass beads. Sometimes I went out with my Afghan hound Dali who was the best company because the whole collection making process was kind of lonely. But I have to say, without the pandemic I would have not had the possibility to do something so time consuming and slow. Just really rethink the possibilies and do the best with the incredients I had in my hands. My dear friend, ex-roomate and the Best Hyeres Assistant Leevi Ikäheimo helped me sew the leather pieces. All of the electronics, LED light shoes and body I did in my tiny apartment here in Paris where I have been living the past few months.

Fashion design, in the traditional sense, is no longer an option. What is your mission as a creative person? Do you identify yourself as an artist or designer?  

I think I am currently on a mission to find my own way of working. Because I have this feeling that the typical fashion-industry way of making things does not work for me and that is why I think I have to be able to think outside the box and be rebellious. So there is a lot to think about. I feel that I am an artist but my field is in design.

Our current theme is “Full of Desire”, so what do you desire for yourself as an artist right now, and what would be the ultimate success you would like to achieve?

I like that theme. My current theme in life is ”Work and Pleasure” and well it is all about mixing these two. I wish to have the pleasure of doing what I am doing right now and to be able to work as a creative on my own terms. I want to keep evolving, because that is what gives me the most satisfaction in life.

Author / Jenny Hytönen

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Bio

Jenny Hytönen is a Finnish artist and fashion designer based in Paris, France. Her designs are known for their intricate and sensuous structures, which are achieved by utilising traditional, hand-made craftsmanship techniques: knitting and leathercraft combined with new experimental technologies. She regularly draws inspiration from human nature as well as the body and its somatosensory sensibilities.

Credits

Designer / Jenny Hytönen @jenny_hytonen

Interview / Kateřina Hynková

Photography / Mika Kailes Photographer @mikakailes

Models / Aada Orpana, Leila Åström, Alexa Illi, @aadaorpana @paparazzimodelmanagement

Hair / Noora Varrio  @varjonoora

Makeup / Stella Sironen  @stella.s.makeup

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