Tanel’s first contact with Iris was at a show in Haapsalu railway station in 2021, where together with Aldo Järvsoo, the “Portal” collection was shown in the gold of the evening sun on the longest catwalk.
Tanel was attracted by Iris’s bright state – a tall girl with a Nordic complexion caught his eye. Later on Instagram, Iiris distinguished herself with her poetic eye and delightful yoga-dance videos in the bosom of Estonian nature. Iris is inspiring!
Iris, please tell us first, how did you get into modeling?
I was 13 years old and I was on the bus with my friend when I suddenly noticed a woman staring at me. As it turned out later, she was from the Icon agency, where I have remained until now. I started working a few years later when I was older and even taller. Never imagined myself as a model before.
In the beginning, I still had doubts about whether I would continue, because it didn’t fit in very well – when I arrived at the casting, my boots were muddy from walking in the forest, my hair smelled like a bonfire, and I didn’t even have black tight pants. I was a bit from another world, but as time went on, I felt more at home in this industry, so I continued and have never regretted my decision.
Photo: Ave Rüütel
What has this world given you? What have you learned?
New experiences, awesome new people and plenty of self-confidence. The confidence to feel comfortable in front of the camera and let them look at me, let them see how beautiful I am 🙂 I have never been particularly shy, but the fact that various important fashion people would look at me from head to toe was quite scary at first.
The biggest lesson is standing up for yourself – even in an uncomfortable situation, you have to say what is not appropriate, what you are not willing to do.
You have to always be yourself because everyone in the world has expectations of what you should be, and how you should look, and they compare you with others, etc. You don’t have to be a few kilos lighter or a little thinner to be beautiful!
You have to find your own personality and stick to it, because that’s how you stand out from the crowd. Apart from beauty, character is also important, how you communicate with other models, photographers and stylists.
Tell us about your style. What colors and cuts do you have the most in your closet? How do you choose the clothes for the day ahead?
Almost all my clothes are bought from a second-hand store. It’s exciting to sort through clothes and look for pearls. Today’s fast fashion will never produce such unique items. Second, we have so many clothes in the world that haven’t outlived their time and could be worn again.
I really enjoy experimenting with different colours and patterns because they add joy and sparkle to everyday life. The mild variants of colours are most liked: moss green, golden yellow, greyish-blue, and warm chestnut brown. Knitwear, slouchy tie pants, lace, men’s jackets, vintage-style puffy shirts, flowing shawls, colourful scarves, long dresses, sandals and tank boots are favourites.
I like to be a little granny, a little hippie, and a little Victorian. It is also important what material the cloth is made of and whether it is comfortable to wear. Linen, cotton and woollen fabrics are pleasant. Sloppy is just something 🙂
In the morning, I dress according to the weather and mood. Sometimes I know I want to wear one particular item and combine the rest around it. I believe that you can’t overdo it with clothes – every day is a celebration day! If it’s comfortable, I’ll even wear a dress every day.
Photos: Inna Tarakanova
Whose style do you follow? Who are the most attractive and stylish women in the world for you?
I don’t directly follow anyone’s style. I get a little inspiration from here, and a bit from there. Mainly from the internet, the street and from my circle of people. And let’s not forget Estonian Academy of Arts students!
The most attractive and stylish women are those who feel good in their own skin, no matter what they wear. For example, Jane Birkin, Mirtel Pohla and my beautiful mother.
What role do jewellery play in your life? Please describe your most meaningful piece of jewellery.
The role of jewellery is to add to the outfit, but not to get all the attention. I myself wear rather little jewellery – a simple silver chain, a ring that does not interfere with daily activities, etc. I also like the crystal leaves, I admit that I believe a little in their magic.
The most meaningful is my elementary school graduation ring because I left school with a light heart and healthy wings. I’ve been wearing it every day for almost three years.
You also stood out at the last ERKI fashion show as a model with bold and convincing acting skills. You have a muse's freedom and stubbornness. What do you think about when performing in front of the camera or on stage?
I have to admit, I’m just thinking about what might look good and what I’d like to do next. Often, under a layer of makeup and wearing other people’s clothes, I see myself as some character or other person. Then I see myself from the sidelines and sense what could work well on stage/in front of the camera.
Being someone else, on stage, it is also braver to experiment more and do things that the “normal me” wouldn’t do otherwise.
One thing I’m still thinking about – to keep my eyes open in the picture! It seems like it should be extremely easy for the model, but especially with the flash, the task is a bit overwhelming for my sensitive eyes 🙂
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where are you moving?
Hopefully, I’ll be doing something I love. Maybe I’ll write or create something. I am a big fan of language and literature, so I would like to edit in that field. By then, I would like to see a lot of the world, make friends with unknown people on the other side of the globe, eat foreign food, and speak a new language.
After travelling the world, I can definitely see myself living in Estonia, because I really, really like our language, culture and nature. Maybe I live in a house by the sea. Anyway, I plan to enjoy life and live like a woman in her prime.