Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Anti-look rant

As usual, when I'm concerned, new hair requires new style tricks, or at least new style inspiration. I stopped by at a couple of clothing stores yesterday, and while walking through Zara it really hit me what a one-trendy-look-wonderstore the place is. And let's be clear about it: when I say wonderstore, I don't mean it in a good sense.

One phrase that has really stuck in my head while working in clothing retail for the past two years is the idea of "the total look". I guess almost all high-street or even upscale brands are all about the concept. The idea is to make customers adopt a brand's products and styling from head to toe. What this often means from the standpoint of the customer, is that when you take your new pair of jeans to the till at the Selected Femme store at Aleksanterinkatu, for example, the sales assistant asks in a cheerful way: "how about we find you a matching t-shirt to go with your jeans?" If you are looking for a pair of boots, be sure that there is a sales assistant there to find you a matching handbag.

Even though Zara does not practice this kind of direct annihilation of its customers' own viewpoint when it comes to mixing and matching, the concept of the total look is palpable there. What is different is that we are not talking about Zara's total look, but someone else's. Take a trendy look, say, Balmain a/w 2009, and you'll be able to copy the entire catwalk look at Zara right now. There were railings and shelves full of acid-wash jeans and differently studded accessories. Not that there is anything bad about it per se. If studs are the trend of the season, surely they should be available. But where is the imagination, where the creativity, when it comes to presenting the trend to the customer?

What puzzles me is this: who is this "total look" crap meant for? Who wants to adopt a ready look? Now, I'd be a hypocrite if I'd say that I wasn't inspired by catwalk images. Just a few days ago I was raving about Dries van Noten's a/w look. I don't know where the difference lies exactly, but I find it extremely distressing to walk through stores force-feeding me the images that I could potentially be inspired by. Now I am just fed up with studs and acid-wash already, even though I'd like to love them and embrace them. Hmm, perhaps I need to stop going into trend-driven high-street stores entirely. UFF 1-euro-day, here we come!

Top: Max&Co.
Shorts: Selected Femme
Sandals: Carvela
Necklace: flea market
Handbag: Ananas Second Hand
Sunnies: Accessorize

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

New hair

I had my hair cut today. The result: Henry Holland goes Rockabilly!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Trippen is a German shoe brand, masterminded by Michael Oehler and Angela Spieth. Before I even begin to talk about the excellent quality and comfort of these shoes, let's take a look at the shoes themselves. Rest your shoe-hungry eyes on these!

These sandals are officially the most comfortable shoes I own. Mine are nude colour though, but they look great in black, too.

I bought my Trippens at 2or+ by Yat, which I think is one of the best (if not the best) clothing stores in Helsinki. They have a wonderful selection of clothes that steer away from both "look-at-me-I'm-fashionable"-clothes, as well as regular high street stuff. In addition to Soi Yat Cheung's collection, they stock A. F. Vandevorst, French Connection and Junya Watanabe. Today I took my Trippens out for a walk dressed like this:

I can't get over how comfortable these shoes are. The rubber sole, the quality of leather... everything about these shoes makes me feel as if I had stepped into a mold, perfectly shaped for my feet. What's even better is that unlike Camper shoes, for example, they don't have that comfortable-shoe-look which can sometimes be, well, all wrong. Okay, their prices are slightly on the high side, but it is not that we are talking about insane amounts of money for what they are.

I am going to have my hair cut next week. Any ideas..?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Looking for a look

I am not a label lover. I often find "total looks" annoying; I would never wear one designer or brand head to toe. However, if I had to, I think I'd go for Dries van Noten. I often end up loving whatever he puts out on the runway. There is something about the way he combines colours, textures, prints and lengths that fascinates me. I see a hint of timeless Hitchcock heroine in his approach to fashion, but it is always done with a modern twist. More importantly, his work is often free of one-hit-wonders and obvious trends. Recently I have been completely obsessed with his work from the past and the present:

autumn / winter 2004

autumn / winter 2005

spring / summer 2007

autumn / winter 2007

spring / summer 2008

spring / summer 2009

autumn / winter 2009

Great stuff, right? Well, then I got my hands on Dealer de Luxe's issue 19, and saw the editorial titled Popsicle, photographed by David Shama, styled by Monia Benayicherif:

Oh, the colours! The shapes! Fast-forward to last Sunday, and me at Hietsu flea market, hunting for items to satisfy my hunger for colour... and these are the treasures that I found:

The mustard colour linen coat was a real find. It was a part of a suit, but the trousers were horrendous, and I managed to persuade its previous owner to only sell me the top part. The red skirt is made of polyester, but the cut is wonderful, if not quite Dries van Noten-like... but oh well! The green silk trousers are perfect for warm summer days, and great for layering. The patterned blue-and-white suit (blouse and skirt) looks really granny-ish (not in a good way), but both items are wonderful when worn separately. Here are my outfit results:

Perhaps this look is a little more grown-up than what I am used to wearing, but who cares. I am happy with the freakish colour combos and the strange shapelessness. I hope it doesn't all look too retro, though.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Knock, knock... no, it is not me

Funnily enough, whenever I say that I'll try to post more often, I end up not being able to, and as soon as I give up on the thought of blogging actively before September, I seem to find the time and energy to arrange photos and write. Anyway, me and Suvi spent a wonderful day at Linnanmäki on Saturday.

Jeans jacket: Second hand Diesel
Top: Gina Tricot
Dress: Gina Tricot
Leggings: H&M
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: Zara
Bag: Minni's old
Fork necklace: flea market
Candy bracelet: already eaten

There are some people (my younger brother, for one) who don't like Linnanmäki. For me though, the place has always had a special meaning. The smell of the old wooden roller-coaster, the cotton candy and waffles, the pinball machines... There is just something really special about this old amusement park.

Meanwhile at home...

My little Illusia is going to see the vet again tomorrow. I seriously hope that the vet can figure out what is troubling her. There aren't too many things (in my current life, anyway) that are more awful than watching your pet be ill.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Spiderwebs and lace ups

I am feeling particularly happy today. Firstly, I have the weekend off, which is simply wonderful after working two weekeds in a row. Secondly, me and Suvi are going to Linnanmäki, the local amusement park, which has a great old world feel to it; it's carousel is over 100 years old, and the roller coaster dates from 1951. Thirdly, I only have five more workdays left! The only thing not making my day is my poor little kitty Illusia, who is stuck wearing a collar once again. She seems to be dealing with it, but I feel terrible having to make her go through it.

The other day I experimented with some spiderweb-inspired tights:

Dress: Velour
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Vagabond

Of course those are not the tights I really wanted. These are:

Unfortunately I don't have $200 to spend on them right now... althought I would have, if I hadn't stupidly ordered two pairs of shoes from ASOS, more of which later. But I tell you, James Lillis is a genius. All of his limited-edition leggings are hand-made, and according to Queen Michelle, they are worth every penny. The picture is taken from James' fantastic blog, Too Many Tights!

I will probably be hitting myself on the head when my countless H&M tights and leggings rip apart (and they will), because for the price of 20 cheap pairs I could get really good ones to last a long, long time.

Sequined bolero: Primark (!); Top: men's H&M; Two dresses: Vero Moda; Suede-effect leggings: Zara; Shoes: Converse