Monday, 27 February 2012

Every dress has a story...

Some time ago, I stumbled at the railway station bookshop over this:

The cover made me smile, though it is so girlish. But I thought it might be the right kind of story for a six-hour trip to the North.
The book is written by Erin McKean who has her own blog "dress a day" and the story is easily told: 
A girl has to take over the vintage shop of her sick grandmother and discovers that every dress in the shop comes together with a story. 

I had a similar experience with my friend Mario this weekend, on our tour through Helsinki's vintage shops. My personal favourite was "Penny Lane". It feels like diving into another world when you enter the building from the 1920s which its mirror ceiling.

picture by Penny Lane
Owner of the shop is lovely Ritva Wächter, former air hostess and Miss Finland 1961, whose collection is based on clothes and costumes people bring to her or which she has collected on her journeys. Her passion are vintage shops all over the world and the 50s and 60s as she told us.

My passion at the moment are vintage sewing patterns and I will start my project pin-up dress very soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

burlesque and pin-up style - some thoughts about the passion for vintage and glamour

My friend asked me lately were this liking of the 50s and the burlesque comes from. Looking at different advertising campaigns, there seems to be a nostalgia about certain decades of the 20th century.

One answer might be the longing of some of us women for a little bit of glamour and a place where we can live our femininity in a world which tries to force us to be "better men".

video by Kiki Beguin

I have this beautiful book "Be Burlesque" which tries to explains what the burlesque is all about. There are four important points which reflect also our society and the role we are playing:

_a community united by common values
the burlesque scene unites different influences like feminism, rockabilly and fetichism and gives different kind of groups the possibility to express themselves in an artistic way like cabaret, dance and performance.

Miss Scarlett Martini - Helsinki Burlesque Festival 2012
_the quality of the performance
a good show needs beneath research, curiosity, music and a good knowledge of dancing and acting especially dedication and passion.

_the respect of the audience
a burlesque show is made for/ and in cooperation with the audience. It's about transferring the spark between audience and performer and creating a band. 

Cleo Viper - Helsinki Burlesque Festival 2012
maybe one could see it as celebrating beauty and glamour. Everyone is beautiful and has some talents. The generosity lies in the respect for the performer and also for the audience.

All in all it should be about equality. I want to emphasize this as I sometimes get the impression here in the North it is more about the right of women to be glamourous. Please keep in mind that every right comes with responsibility.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

underwater world of Alexander McQueen

After the journey to the bottom of the sea with the nymphs of Chanel another magic underwater world waits to get explored. This time set in scene by Alexander McQueen. As designer Sarah Burton explained: "It’s all about Gaia, the wonder of nature, the sea."

The collection is infused by the oceanic life, seen in outfits which are composed of complex drapings, pleatings and layerings to create filigrane coral and shell like structures. The dresses are not just inspired by the life of sea creatures, like jelly fishes, but also imitate their movements. 


The silhouette with the raised waist reminds of an exaggerated Empire line. The materials of these cascades of ruffles are silk, lace and organza woven with copper, silver and gold. 


The fragility of the classic silhouette in pastel shades is broken by the aggression of the lace-masked heads and the gleaming, fetishy black leather to create an even more authentic look of strange underwater creatures.

Friday, 17 February 2012

preparing for the Helsinki Burlesque Festival

...and to get in the right mood Cher with " Welcome to burlesque" from the movie "Burlesque".


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Gucci for Men

When my friend asked me for an individual business look for men, I started to browse through all designer's collections to get an idea what I would like to see on men.


One of the strongest men's collections for spring/ summer 2012 I found again at Gucci. It is inspired by British gentleman's club style with a hint of artsy vanity. It creates just the right mix of classiness with an casual edge to give a young attitude.


The most classic elements are the sharply-tailored jackets with classic checks paired here with slim trousers that snapped at the ankle.


The clothes are dressy without being demanding as for examples the blazers are shown in combination with collarless shirts or are worn without ties. The coulours vary from nude shades and grey to strong aubergine and red.

Monday, 13 February 2012


As you might have seen on my Facebook site, I have made a couple of sketches to imagine how my perfect pin-up dress could look like and asked my friends and followers what they like best...

...and these are the favourites. 
A wiggle dress with hawaiian print or in classical navy polka dots and a swing dress with flowers or parrots. As you can see, both type of dresses are based on the same pattern and vary just in the shape of skirt.

And now I just need to pick up the sewing pattern up from post office and order the fabric. I am so excited!

Friday, 10 February 2012

modern mermaids by Chanel

With the current spring collection for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld takes us to an imaginary underwater world amongst coral branches and shells on a sandy sea bed. Lagerfeld had promised “the ground of the sea, but in a very poetic way,” and his models, meandering through this dramatic set looked like magical deep-sea sirens. 

Inspired by the textures of exotic fishes, iridescent pearls, the lightness of seaweed and foam, the new collection gives a new look to the Chanel classics, for example Coco Chanel’s iconic pearls were used as buttons or as belts.


Lagerfeld worked with innovative techno fabrics to create the effect of light through water. Airy waffle-textured organzas and iridescent synthetics, open-weave tweeds and knits, and a palette of sea foam and shell pink created the under water effect.


The technical mastery of the house of Chanel was also revealed in the elaborate pleating and draping techniques that transformed organza and lace into corals, seashells, and waving underwater algae.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

printed dreams by Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo collection is pure southern feeling with soft colours and materials for men and silky dresses in bright pattern for women.

The look for men is as usual very masculine in an elegant casual way. The materials are cotton, linen and leather and the shades vary from different sand tones to light green and dark blue.

The women's collection is dominated by bright colours mainly in deep red and blue shades. The pattern vary from flowers and animal prints to elegant stripes and are combined freely to achieve an elegant feminine look.

My favourites for men are those three looks which work on a tone-in-tone basis. They vary from elegant to casual and sporty, which gives men the certain hint of macho making them look interesting.

My women's favourite is definitly the jumpsuit in combination with the red jacket. The floral print and the material makes it very feminine and fancy and I like the combination of strong colours which you can also see in the neckholder dress. 
The pink dress has a more simple elegance in its lightness.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

project pin-up dress

After my research for the fashion timeline, I got intrigued finding the perfect 50s style... the shape, the material, the pattern, simply the whole variety. 
I came across a couple of retro styles, but in most cases it is rather the material which I don't like, the cut or sometimes even the presentation (sorry I am a visual person and when the colours and pattern of the dress don't suit with your sailor tattoo I have my doubt in your styling skills)...

images of sewing patterns by Vintage Vogue and Butterick Retro

Then I read that most women in the 50s were actually sewing their dresses themselves and that even famous French designer, like Lanvin and Christian Laxroix, have made sewing patterns. So I got the idea I could actually start my own project pin-up dress once I can decide for the pattern.

Alexander Henry fabrics

I also found some great fabrics from Henry Alexander and Michael Miller.

dots by Michael Miller

For first sketches look on my Facebook site!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

girls and bikes... on the way on two wheels

girls & bikes

Fitting to the Prada theme, I went to the motorbike exhibiton to have a look at some bikes. As you can see on the first picture "girls & bikes" are a match made in heaven. But I liked this cute pin-up girl on the victory.

You might wonder how I ended up searching for a motorbike and strolling around exhibitions alone as a girl... well, my Dad has given me this passion for cars and bikes and everything fast, so I made my driving license last summer here in Finland.

At first I really just wanted to have a Vespa, but it's much more challenging to have a real bike...
And here we are testing Vespa versus Ducati sports bike

two red italian cuties

I had once the discussion with the guy in the Vespa shop and he actually told me: "Make your license first and then come back, but I am afraid you don't want to have a Vespa anymore."
Though I still like the idea for the city. It would be perfect to drive it on a nice summer day here in Helsinki along the shoreline as you don't need all this heavy driving gear!

Bavarian Blue and Red of course... BMW RR

and more Italian design from Ducati, the Panigale
And of course what are girls and bikes without music. I was quite amused about the "Motörcycles" by Victory as I like Lemmy a lot.

Motörcycles, nothing more to mention I guess
And I also like to watch at the customized bikes where you sometimes have the problem to actually get the front wheel on the picture. I am always fascinated by the creativity of the people though I sometimes doubt that it is comfortable to drive...

custom "dreams"
And finally I found my jacket... bike needs to wait still a bit. But anyway we had -20°C here just a couple of days ago and plenty of snow. My shoulders are now at least as broad as the ones of Glen Danzig.

Friday, 3 February 2012

The New Look 2012 by Dior

Also Dior goes back to its creative origins and presents a collection for this years spring and summer with familiar shapes of the New Look created in the 1950s.

                           sketches by Dior
Haute Couture printemps/ été 2012

The famous "Bar" jacket was given a new twist with fitted narrow waist and twirling skirts. The collection is elegant and lifted by a palette of make-up colours with a spark of red here and there and farics such as  organza and tulle.

                               ready to wear collection
spring/ summer 2012

The haute couture collection has the same classical theme of ultra-refined Parisian 50s chic with evening dresses that give a hint of timeless Holywood glamour we know for example from Grace Kelly.

                         Haute Couture Collection
spring/ summer 2012

Thursday, 2 February 2012

bad things

With all the girls, cars and 50s chic, I have this song spinning in my head!