Tag Archives: fashion

Today’s Good Homo News

tom of finland, finlayson, design

Image via out.com

All is not bad in Finland. Even though gays over here can’t get married, they can sleep in their very own sheets! Wow! Finnish homewear manufacturer Finlayson teamed up with the Tom of Finland  Foundation to produce a line of sheets, towels and whatnot.

out magazine, tom of finland, finlayson

Via out.com

Admittedly these are very cool. You can buy yours from HERE and if bedsheets aren’t your thing, there are items for kitchen coming out too! Hopefully all the products stays in production for long time. That would solve my Christmas giving problems for years to come!

Well done, Finlayson, well done indeed.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. You can read about the line in English HERE. In Finnish HERE, HERE and HERE.

 

Mayday, Mayday. This Is Finnish Fashion Scene, Reporting an Emergency.

Today I spotted on my Facebook-feed a link to a Daily Fail- story about North Korean fashion week. Yes, really. I was ready to get all harhar-this-is-funny but then I saw this:

aram pan, photography, fashion, north korea

Then this:

aram pan, photography, fashion, north korea

And this:

aram pan, photography, fashion, north korea

I don’t know about you but it seems to me that North Korean prison camps have surprising level of technical knowledge and design skills, and not to mention, produces sexier and more sellable crap than most Finnish brands.

This can’t be right. I would take that black suit in a heartbeat. The original story is HERE.

-Thrifty Finn-

Fashion Drama a la Finland

Finland’s hottest (and probably only) fashion related awards show Elle Style Awards was last week. I had already forgotten about it but my friend called today and told me about a HUGE FASHION SCANDAL! A FASHION CRIME! A crime so heinous they should call the Special Victims Unit!

No, not really.

This is what happened…There is this young fashion blogger named Alexandra, the daughter of famous Finnish journalist and TV-personality Baba Lybeck. They arrived to the gala together and naturally, their photo was taken on the red carpet:

baba lybeck, elle style awards 2014, Finland, Helsinki, fashion

Image via iltalehti.fi

They are both insanely good-looking, don’t you think? Anyhoo, this is where the crime happened. Want to know what it is? Well, when asked what she was wearing, Alexandra (according to Iltalehti) replied vintage.

Aaaaaaand Finnish fashion world went bonkers. Someone spotted that the kimono Alexandra was wearing, is a free Yves Rocher-gift from early nineties. HORROR! Or that’s what people collectively cried. People got so offended that they even posted the outfit on the Finnish Facebook-fails site Feissarimokat with a title Project Runway. So. Much. Burning. A friend of mine linked to another conversation where there were following comments:

“Yves Rocher is replacing Oscar de la Renta”

“I have the matching slippers”

“You would have thought that when the invitation says black tie, you’d take the opportunity to dress up.”

Brutal. So brutal. But the thing is, the girl is 16. The kimono is older than her PLUS 20-year old thing is vintage. Not the best of quality but still…NOT ALL VINTAGE ARE! The girl herself  wrote on her blog that she bought it for 5 euros last summer and got tons of compliments on it during the night. Word. And not to mention, if you can’t experiment and do fashion fails when you are 16, when will you ever find your own style?!?

But I digress. The best comment on the conversation was this and actually captures some relevant issues Finnish fashion industry has:

“In the 80s, the men in the village built a car on a Volkswagen chassis, with fiberglass and called it a Porsche. If someone bought it as a Porsche, it hardly is the seller’s fault. As a media critical person, I bet that the journalist asked her where she got the dress and when she answered “a vintage store” the dress became vintage in the story. This wouldn’t be a huge surprise in this golden era of ‘investigative journalism’. What is notable though that Yves Rocher’s free gift doesn’t look half bad next to the designer items, even though the one who is wearing it adds on the effect. Somewhere, in the depths of the wild jungle they call subcontracting, is a surprising level of design knowhow. “

-Thrifty Finn-

 

 

I <3 Marks & Sparks

You know. I like to think I’m somewhat conscious consumer. I buy what I use and think about the ethical consequences, within my own means of course. But I do appreciate good business too. I can much easier justify spending money on clothes and support textile industry because the materials for those you can re-grow over and over again, where as for smartphones…Once the metallic is dug up, it’s not replenishing itself.

This same goes for all kinds of packaging. I like well designed packaging and I think ALL the packaging in the world should be designed well. Once you use any kind of natural resource, you should use it the best possible way and the sum of all the parts should always be bigger than the basic cost! Nice surroundings and things create nice people.

With these thoughts…Let me tell you how excited I am about MARKS & SPENCER OPENING THEIR FIRST STORE IN FINLAND!!!

Note: This is not an advertisement. I haven’t received any compensation from M&S. I’m just a huge fan of British high street.

marks & spencer helsinki

Last Saturday, after the demonstration against #TTIP (yes, I’m aware of the irony but ethics and business are not mutually exclusive things), I bumped into a friend of mine and convinced him to accompany me to the newly opened store. (I had a good reason for this. I knew I was going to get all kinds of fashion fan-girly embarrassing once in the store. Needed support and backup).

My swooning started already at the entrance. The huge bouquet and dim lighting immediately gave me a feeling of luxury. Me? A luxury buyer? Yes! Please! Butter me up! Butter me up!

marks & spencer Helsinki

The ground floor has the more expensive (still reasonably priced) M&S- brands like Autograph and Per Una. I kept bouncing from one display to one another because I loved every single outfit. This orange coat with the plaid dress with electric blue highlights is a perfect example of everyday luxury that just oozes confidence, style and good taste. And oh glorious…I checked the dress on the hanger and there seems to plenty of room for hips & butt. Praise the English and their pear-shaped lower bodies. Now in Finland!

marks & spencer Helsinki, footwear

The British have perfected the smart casual office style. Even the shoes have details that make sensible shoes cute and sexy. And the price point…I found black ballerinas, leather, with those hidden heels that make ballerinas good shoes instead flat, feet killers for 60 euros! SIXTY EUROS! Usually I have to pay over 100 for them.

M&S has four floors and they are shared with the Finnish department store Sokos. However it’s clear what’s M&S-space and what’s not. There’s signage and of course the presentation is much more well thought:

MarksSparks4

I took a separate tour to the Sokos-side so I could get a full shot of this:

marks & spencer Helsinki

Me and my friend just kept nodding and repeating “they know how to sell, they know how to sell”. Even the music supports this. Very cool, very danceable and very, very selling. It was the kind of music that makes you want you to put your best face and clothes on and go out. M&S (and H&M among others) gets it. Even if I’m buying period panties, I don’t want to think that I HAVE to buy something. I want to want it.

Even the men’s wear department got me all excited.I mean, look at this display:

marks & spencer Helsinki, men's wear

If a guy wearing any of those looks, smelling really good came to me and said even so much a hello, I would put out. Yes, I said it because it needs to be said. A smartly dressed man is same to a woman as a half-naked woman is to a man. Suit catalogs are porno for women.

I have a feeling a lot of men in Helsinki will be finding Marks & Spencer-clothing in their Christmas-socks. Men, if you do, take the hint.

Anyhoo, on the same floor is also a small food section. It mainly has biscuits, candies and other packed snack foods. Do I even need to tell you my excitement level here? If you, like me, are package enthusiast, you love this section. Every single thing in here is such that you can give it as a gift. Even if it’s cheap, the packaging itself makes it a special and more thoughtful gift than, let’s say a TV-mix, from a regular store. Bonus is that you get the fantastic shopping experience.

I bought some chocolate covered honeycomb crunch thingies. Delicious. I joked with the sales assistant that this was my breaking point. After buying this one thing, I won’t be able to stop shopping there :D

My only negative thought is that M&S was brought to Finland by S-Group. S-Group is one of the two chains that control 80% of Finland’s food retail (and presumably a lot of other retail too since they own any kind of retail chain possible), so M&S is not really new competition. That also probably prevents them from opening a full scale M&S food retail space because S-Group wouldn’t want anyone new on their turf. Although the basement of the building where M&S now resides, already has a grocery store and the space would be perfect for M&S.

What comes to the fashion retail, I think the biggest blow will be for Stockmann (that’s the “better” department store in Helsinki). Their clients are more international and they have learned to shop at M&S when abroad. M&S clothes are also better priced and like I said, feel very luxurious. But then again, M&S brought much needed newness to the Helsinki- fashion and shopping scene and could bring everyone’s sales up. From an artistic and designer’s point of view, it’ fantastic have a place where I can get international inspiration. Patterns, cuts, displays…Hopefully an endless treasure trove.

Edited to add: The opening hours Mon-Fri 9-21, Sat 9-18, Sun 12-18

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. When I got to the lingerie department, the first thing I asked from the manager was that do you have the multi-packs? They did:

marks & spencer Helsinki

H&M just lost about 30-50 euros of business per year from me.

 

Inspiration: Finnish Sewing Blogs

Did you know Ottobre, the sewing magazine, is based in Rovaniemi, Lapland? My precious hometown? Well, you do now :D The bigger Ottobre has gotten,  the more and more people in Finland have taken to sewing and blogging. Which is great as crafting and hand-making make peeps happier and helps to live longer. Yay!

I thought you would like to have a look some cool Finnish blogs that focus on sewing for kids. They are written in Finnish but you don’t need to understand the text to get inspired by the amazing creations.

villa ja villa, crafty blog, Finnish

Villa & Villa is written by two women and has all kinds of sewing posts. Kid’s wear, women’s fashion, purses etc. My favourite is the T-shirt made of Roberto Cavalli- end of bolt jersey.

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Made by Ulma, Finnish sewing blog

Made by Ulma does all kinds of crafts but her best work are the clothes she makes for her little toddler boy. What I have gathered from sewing blogs all over the world, inspiration (and fabrics) for little boys are hard to find. Well, here you will find it:

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Tilkunpaikka, Finnish sewing blog

Tilkunpaikka has a style that I would call graphic feminine.  She sews mainly little girl clothes but there are some stuff for adults too. The best part of the clothes she does are the pattern combos.

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Mutturalla, Finnish sewing blogMutturalla- blogger is a mother of five. FIVE! She also works fulltime and finds time to sew. Let’s all feel like a total under-achiever for a moment. Oh and she’s gorgeous too. How annoying. When it comes to her sewing, I’m a huge fan of her detailing and general taste level. Very good indeed.

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nuutikki, finnish sewing blog, craft, DIY Nuutikki sews for her kids and makes cool things for her home too. Her style is similar to Tilkunpaikka, very graphic and romantic although she makes little boy’s clothes too. My favourite part is the variety she shows on her blog.

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There are tons of more blogs to explore and these 5 represent just a small part of the sewing community in Finland. The explosion of sewing has been helped by the rise of indie-fabric manufacturers/shops. There is sometimes quite fierce competition on FB-fabric groups for some of the rarer prints :D I might have to make a post about them soon too.

-Thrifty Finn-