Category Archives: Design and Fashion

Commentary on Hyéres Fashion Festival

hyéres fashion festival 2015, Karl Lagerfeld, Caroline Princess of Monaco

Karl Lagerfeld and Princess of Monaco, Caroline. Via hs.fi

Finnish fashion scene (at least according to Helsingin Sanomat) has been buzzing.  We had four people, three collections in the finale of Hyéres Fashion Festival 2015. Super! I knew that they were in the finale but hadn’t seen the images of the collections until today in the aforementioned/linked Helsingin Sanomat article. The writer, Sami Sykkö, wrote rather brilliantly about the festival and gave commentary about Finnish fashion (hah) industry and the challenges it is facing (all the challenges, BTW, brought on by the industry itself).

Anyhoo, back to the finale. I can understand why these collections made it to the final round. The clothes were colourful and the designers had used tons of different techniques. Finnish fashion design used to be about screenprinted A-line skirts and T-shirts, mainly because designers over here don’t have access to good fabric stores and these collections are breaking the stereotype of Finnish/Scandinavian design:

However herein lies the problem. It’s great that fashion students have learned layering and pattern mixing. Moving away from the one dimensionality. These looks are very different what designers in Finland are offering right now, which is a good thing BUT what they have forgotten that we don’t live in a bubble, there’s a whole industry out there. An industry, that in the same time is about looking for a new thing and offering consumers what they want now. And these collections are not now. They are not fresh. Fresh in Finland, yes, but this Ukrainian Ann Demeulemeester-look is not current. It’s good for a designer to have their own vision but they should be using that vision to interpret the culture and times people are living now. If you look at the winning collection by Annelie Schubert:

Annelie Schubert, winner of Hyéres 2015, finalist

via arcstreet.com

You can see the collection is sophisticated. There are layers, there are textures but they are not fighting with each other. The silhouette is current and the overall vibe is a nod to 90s Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. And what is the very decade every design disciple is drawing from as inspiration?

Hyéres shortlisted finalists 2015, arc street

via Luxury Touch

Anyway, I’m happy that there were so many Finnish finalists. Finnish fashion industry has a long way to go still but at least designers are not to be faulted with the slow development. I DO have one beef though…The way Sami Sykkö reported this, it gave an impression that our three finalists were selected because they were Finnish. It makes mockery of the entire industry and the history of art & design. And art & design do not have a nationality. Sure, the nationality of the designers might explain/influence the form but it’s not the end all and be all. Although this is not only Sami Sykkö’s sin. It can be seen in any kind of reporting about Finnish people making it out there. Not ever they write that person is making it because he or she is good at what she does. No, they are always good because they are Finnish.

Le sigh.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Additional reading on Hyéres here: arcstreet.comvillanoailles-hyeres.com, style.com

It’s That Time of the Year Again…

eurovision 2015, austria, conchita

Last night I watched the final of Melodifestivalen, Swedish Eurovision Song Contest. As per usual their show was muy fantastic. They even had Conchita performing in the opening spectacle.

(I’m writing this muy jealous, because even though Finland is getting better at putting together a show, it’s still way too behind when it comes to style and showmanship. Dammit, I’m a loyal Eurovision-fan, I must be rewarded accordingly with a proper show!)

Anyhoo…I decided to take a peek at the Eurovision-website to see what kind of songs have gotten through so far. In my personal opinion, way too many slow songs but it bodes well for our punk song. (But I do like the fact that there a tons of female performers this year.) I don’t have favourites yet but I’m giving these guys another chance to impress me: Serbia, Slovenia, Malta, Belgium, Georgia (who is totally channeling Ruslana), Belarus, Germany and Sweden.

Have you checked out any of the songs yet? Last night I was tipped on Twitter about this guy, who unfortunately didn’t make it to the final of Melodifestivalen. I think we lost something here:

-Thrifty Finn-

 

 

Helsinki City Museum: #Flashback

helsingin kaupunginmuseo, Helsinki city museum

Few weeks ago I received an invitation to an exhibition opening at Helsinki City Museum. It was last week and let me tell you, it was super fun.

But first a little about the actual exhibition…The museum had invited 12 Helsinki-based artists to dig into their photo archives. There was no other direction given, the artists were free to do whatever they wanted. They gathered every Wednesday-night to go through the archives and discuss what they found.

The exhibition/installation tells a story about a man, who wakes up on a park bench one morning and starts to remember what happened the night before. The flashbacks are projected on screens and are roughly divided by themes like After Work, Encounterings etc…

 

Go check it out. Helsinki City Museum is a free museum and is located just off Aleksanterinkatu by the Helsinki Cathedral on Sofiankatu 4.

The opening party was great. They had a DJ, some circus artists (I asked from which circus company but I’ve already forgotten which one, explanation for this comes next) and a photo booth! There was a queue for it for all evening but nothing too bad as I went twice. My personal opinion now is that EVERY party should have a photo booth. It ain’t no party, with no photo booth arty.  The company that provided the booth at the opening is called Funbox and they rent them for companies and individuals alike (I checked, you know, the journalist that I am).

Anyhoo. The reason for all that forgetting? This:

ab

It was called something something Green Beast. I drank four glasses of this stuff. Then I met a friend for a glass of wine at an expensive restaurant. That then turned into glasses of cheap sparkling wine at another restaurant, which then turned into dancing at one club and got finished off with some more sparkling wine and dancing at another club.

Yes. I took the concept of the installation literally and applied it into my own life. Life imitates art, that sort of thing. Well, we DID sort of had a reason to party. My friend started his own business so there’s that.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. The images posted on Instagram with the hashtag #fläsäri got projected on a screen. It was actually quite fun. I’m not sure if that is a permanent feature for the exhibition but I hope so.

Inspiration: Finnish Fabric Design & Stores

Few months ago I wrote about Finnish sewing blogs, a sort of TOP 5 of mine. In the end I wondered if I should continue it with a post about the fabric stores and designers as some of you might want to try to make clothes in Finnish style as well.

I asked for some help at a sewing group in Facebook and I got a flurry of answers. Even I didn’t realize there are that many! Finnish print design is alive and doing well indeed. In twenty years time, these are the fabrics we will be fighting for in online auctions :)

Here’s my TOP 5. I have listed all stores that sell designer fabrics at the bottom, so you can bookmark this post for later reading and/or reference.

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Majapuu is one of the biggest ones, at least when it comes to selection. They also have some crafty supplies and home decor stuff. They have tons of different kinds of prints for sale. As you can see from the images there’s modern, retro and vintage style things. My favourite is the Kiiltokuvat. It’s a digi print cotton which is also available as jersey. It’s not cheap, 22.90€ per meter, but if you make something for a kid, a meter goes for a long way. Their sale section is over HERE. The gray London-print is tempting me…

*****

Pehemiä sells only fabrics and some notions. Mostly knits. The Kirjonta is a merino wool jacquard knit of which Pehemiä has 13 different kinds in stock right now. The Fasaani is a woven cotton fabric.

Käpynen is mainly focused on fabrics but there are sewing notions and gift items for sale too. The prints are designed in Finland and printed in Poland using “traditional printing techniques” but there are digiprints and other manufacturers available too. Majority of the fabrics are knits but there is a section for cotton prints as well.

*****

Sashop is the brain child of designer Sari Ahokainen. She sells fabrics, ribbons, clothing and other things she designed. I love, love the Pony Bloom. The fabrics aren’t cheap (again) but there is a special deal on the ribbons. A surprise bag of 20 meters of ribbon for 20 euros.

*****

PaaPii Design is possibly the most international of these stores. PaaPii sells fabrics, DIY-kits, toys, paper goods…there’s basically something for everyone. The Bambi- sewing kit must have been very popular as I’ve seen it in so many sewing blogs. Some day I will get one too, it’s just too cute to pass up on. Anyhoo, their fabric collection isn’t huge but the stuff is so design-y that I don’t mind.

And then just bubbling under….

vimmacompany-logo

Vimma is an über cool label that makes children’s wear but they do have few print fabrics available too. I had to drop it from my TOP 5 because they are mainly a fashion label but still have to mention them for their extremely well thought out concept and brand. One of their designers is Maija Louekari who has designed for Marimekko as well.

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THE LIST OF FINNISH FABRIC STORES

There are tons of other online fabric stores but I decided to focus on ones that have those indie-designers available. If you have any questions..please, do ask them :D

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. This is a coincidence but the day I decided to write this post I noticed THIS. There’s going to be an Indie Fabric Market on FB and you can join it HERE. They did the post in English so I presume the sellers are more than happy to post internationally :)

indie goes viral

Vintage Fabric Resources

forssa museum, forssan museo, vintage fabric identifier

Via forssanmuseo.fi

I had to share this with you as soon as I found out about it. A Finnish museum has a handy textile design tool, where you can search prints/designs by designer and/or year. And what do you know, the site is also in ENGLISH.

Naturally I had to check if I happen to own anything really good and rare but instead I found fabrics I want to have. Like this one:

1953, vintage fabric design, Finland

via forssanmuseo.fi

From 1953, there’s no designer name but LOOK AT THE PATTERN! It’s beautiful! Or how about this one from 1967 by Helena Perheentupa?

Helena Perheentupa, forssan museo, Finnish textile design

via forssanmuseo.fi

Could a pattern be anymore 60s? No matter what you make from this fabric, it would sell on the craft markets like hot cakes. I demand A RE-PRINT! Ooh, and in different colourways! Imagine yellow…*floats into a fabric dreamland*

One more for the road because this one I’ve seen IRL (sort of, on an online vintage market). It’s by a designer Pirkko Hammarberg and has such a utilitarian name S4089. But it’s anything but:

Pirkko Hammarberg, Finnish textile design, 1968

via forssanmuseo.fi

The fabric is so vibrant and alive! Part of me knows that these colours probably weren’t achieved with the most environmentally healthy chemicals but the other part wishes one could still get these. The third part of me wishes more vintage prints would be re-printed (OTHER THAN MARIMEKKO DAMMIT! I’M SO BORED WITH THEM!) but then the magic of finding these prints at the thrift stores would be gone.

I actually did some research and called Forssan Museo/Forssa Museum to enquire more about this online tool. I spoke with the musem director, Kati Kivimäki, herself and she told me that the online research tool only has a very small selection of their collection. Apparently they have 500 shelf meters just Finlayson prints! 500 SHELF METERS, PEOPLE!!! Imagine getting your hands on that loot. When I asked if they have plans to digitize more of their collection, she told me that everytime they get a job lot where the designer is marked and/or known, they will add it to the search tool.

Now Forssan Museo is on my museum visit wishlist. HERE you can find where they are located and the entry fees.

-Thrifty Finn, in a fabric fever-