Mari-Liis is an unusually bold colourist. In her world, psychedelia meets bohemianism – a shameless riot of patterns and colours, the presence of which is impossible not to notice. Her whole being also has a demanding, almost shamanic stamp with her dark black hair and loose cuts.
Tell us, please, how did you find the colors?
A few years ago, my wardrobe and the whole world were quite black and white, and as always with significant changes – something causes it and gives it momentum. For me, the ending of a very long relationship was life-changing, after which I looked at myself in the mirror for more than 10 years and thought, who is this 30+ woman there? So, I began to consciously strive towards a brighter, stronger, more confident persona. Colour explosions came into my life in the form of TVJ Earberries – the colours inspired me, I wanted to do something new and exciting with myself based on them. And so these colours slowly came with ever-increasing confidence until they had become not only my self-expression but an unwavering part of that self-image.
Is there a shade you would never wear?
Honestly? No! I used to find browns, khakis and other such earthy shades intimidating, but as with age, one’s taste evolves, and today I think these shades are exceptionally chic and intelligent. However, I couldn’t wear modest shades without colourful details. Whether it’s a piece of jewellery or another accessory – a pop of colour is essential for me to feel in my element. It seems to me that even the smallest amount of bright, striking – often contrasting – colour on a modest background makes my soul sing and brings a sparkle to my eyes. All colours are beautiful, deep and meaningful to me!
How do you want others to see you? After all, fashion is a kind of communication with people and the environment...
On the one hand, I constantly think that my daughter would see and wonder what the beauty of a woman even means. I wish I could be a role model for her in creating values that don’t focus on comparing myself to others; I wish she would dare to be as chaotic as her soul desires; so that she can ask herself who she is, why she is and how she is.
On the other hand, I really want to give confidence to other young women (and mothers) that getting older doesn’t mean you have to become more boring, more conservative, and more self-restricting. I would like every woman who reaches my courage and colour to think about what she is like in her wildest self-definition. I want to convey the attitude that it’s always okay to be who you need to be for yourself right now, at any age and size, in any situation. And what’s most important – the habit of comparing yourself would disappear and the courage to be different would emerge, whatever that difference might mean!
For you, fashion seems to be a kind of therapy, a liberating game. Please talk about the meanings and effects of clothes.
For me, dressing and fashion is something fundamentally simple – it’s self-confidence, it’s knowing yourself well in your body, it’s either expressing current emotions or creating desired feelings. I did not dare to experiment before, I was as if in some chains, with the desire to be invisible. I didn’t think I had anything to give the world before, but today I believe that absolutely everyone has something that someone else needs. Maybe I have to give the world a little more craziness, colours and an example to see beyond my chains, and the courage to realize my craziness. For me, the therapeutic nature of fashion is the feeling of liberation – liberation from everything that drags me down, that makes me doubt myself or makes me feel small and insignificant.
Please tell me about your jewellery box - how do you make your choices?
When it comes to my jewellery, I’m pretty specific: I don’t invest in anything that doesn’t have some value. This does not mean that all jewellery has to be with precious stones, rather I expect stories (journeys, moments, life events, etc.) from my jewellery. Today I make my choices based on what will have value for my daughter in the future: Estonian design, unique pieces, special works, and special orders. That’s why I rarely buy jewellery – they are an investment that requires thinking and investing resources. In addition, I have an exceptionally large collection of Tanel Veenre jewellery – especially all the colourful Earberries. These are the pieces of jewellery that make me “me” and for which I dare to consider myself a collector!
Do you have any style role models? Who has influenced you in this regard?
I have never thought of anyone as my style role model. Certainly, these agents have been unconscious. If so, I would name the qualities that, in my opinion, make someone stylish at all: courage, taste, intelligence, balance, harmony, quality, and inner brilliance. But I also find all these things in complete strangers on the streets of Tallinn. However, my style today is completely my own chaotic creation and often lame in one way or another, because I don’t try to follow any style rules – I put together everything that speaks to me in the given time and space and makes me feel good.
Courage is definitely one of the keywords associated with you. But what are you afraid of?
I am a very passionate and emotional person, and I am very afraid of burnout, which can often happen to those who demand very, very much from themselves. Of course, we learn to live with such things, so why fear?
Apart from that, I am much more afraid that my child will grow up in a world where being like myself is not valued, and I wish from the bottom of my heart that the voice and value of an individual will never disappear somewhere. Not only is difference enriching, but everything – no matter who or what being – is enriching! Being “me”, finding “me” and expressing “me” is so necessary to feel like a full human being. I wish it never loses its value!
You can also find jewellery that Mari-Liis wears in the photos in our e-shop: