Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Baltika Group launch innovative collaboration
Baltika’s largest brand Monton creates new concert clothing for orchestra’s ‘Waterworks’ tour. Styling reflects water theme of tour programme. Clothing innovation forms part of cutting-edge concert show fusing music, fashion, light, visual art and sound design. Baltika Group and Baltic Sea Philharmonic plan long-term partnership
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will debut a fresh, distinctive look on its upcoming ‘Waterworks’ tour thanks to an innovative partnership with Estonian fashion retailer Baltika Group. Designers at Monton, the largest of Baltika’s five international brands, have created new concert clothing for the players of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Music Director Kristjan Järvi. The stylish new outfits will be revealed for the first time at the orchestra’s concerts in Hattingen, Germany, and Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark, from 5 to 9 May. They have been specially designed to reflect the water theme of the programme, with shades of blue, white and grey replacing the traditional all-black uniformity of formal concert attire.
A revolution in performance
The break with concert clothing conventions is part of the bold new presentation concept that the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is pioneering on the ‘Waterworks’ tour – an innovative concert experience that fuses music, fashion, light, visual art and sound design. Kristjan Järvi says: ‘The sense of unity that we want to achieve between the music, the projections, the lighting and the sound design also incorporates the clothing of the orchestra. Everything is part of an organic whole, a unified artistic concept, and that includes how the orchestra looks on stage, the way its clothes represent the different colours of water, and the way the light reflects off the various materials.’
The ‘Waterworks’ tour, which features nine performances in Germany and Denmark in May and August 2017, marks the start of a long-term collaboration planned by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the Baltika Group. The two organisations are particularly well matched, in more than just name: innovative and passionate about everything they do, both are driven by an openness to fresh ideas, and both bring talented people together and cross geographical boundaries.
The Baltika Group has a design heritage stretching back almost 90 years, and played a significant part in safeguarding and championing Estonia’s textile and clothing industry during the country’s transition from closed borders to the post-Communist era of free-market opportunity. Monton was established 15 years ago – making it only a few years older than the Baltic Sea Philharmonic – and is today the most successful Estonian fashion brand in the world.
Known for its free-spirited individuality, Monton often merges contrasting influences to create a look that’s fresh and unexpected. For instance, its spring/summer 2017 collection ‘Duality’, designed by a team from Estonia, Finland and Lithuania, takes inspiration from two islands that could not be more different: hot, tropical Cuba and cool, clean Iceland. And it’s the second of these islands, with its geysers, waterfalls, glaciers and surrounding seas, that has inspired the design for the orchestra’s outfits. Maire Milder, Baltika Group’s Branding and Retail Concept Director, says: ‘The styling for “Waterworks” uses a black‒grey‒white‒navy colour palette, with sky blue for the accent. It’s a rather minimalistic styling where details act as focal points: pleats imitate water flow and movement, and sheer tulle and straight-cut edges represent the qualities of ice.’
A fusion of style and comfort
Monton’s designers were also careful to consider the musicians’ need for comfortable concert clothing, a fact keenly appreciated by Kristjan Järvi. He says: ‘Monton’s clothing is the kind that allows a musician to move around naturally. And while comfort is paramount, it’s rare for orchestral musicians to have comfortable performance clothes that are so stylish. So we are breaking new ground, both in terms of fashion and in how the stage design and lighting is enhanced by the look of an orchestra.’