Wednesday, April 29, 2009

poke 'er face!

here's a part of my face. historical. wrinkles and all...

the reason i'm compromising my anonymity is last night and the pampering i got. i dj'd at tigi color launch tour helsinki event at hima ja sali. as i had to be on stage i got the model treatment: my bob got a turnover in the hands of skt education manager jukka tikkinen and my lady gaga inspired make-up was brushed on by piia hiltunen. we all wore fab outfits sponsored by diesel.

the models stepped out to the new tune of tiga with some pretty appropriate lyrics:

a two-hour session of amazing hair (check out the pictures of their photoshoot and the result in mv's blog), info on hair color which made me want to try the products myself (scary hairdresser on fire...) and a performance by tv off (a must see if you already haven't!) made sure the event was informative, fun and hectic.

just so you know you've been warned: i want some crazy glitter on my face every day from now on... i may turn into lady gaga in no time. or perhaps just for may day. klara vappen y'all!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

to avec or not to avec, that is the question.

i get my share of party invites. i try to attend the ones that seem most interesting, but quite honestly often choose a quiet night at home over socialite gatherings with very little added value. in short, if the party offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences or seems essential for my career, i'll go. moreover, parties organized by friends always make my list. i suppose there's nothing special there.

i am, nevertheless, not even near enjoying an it-girl status or your average pr-pro, and many of my friends, who either have more upscale jobs than i or just hang out in cooler circles, get tenfold the invitations i do. as of late i've noted a trend i briefly brought up with a friend of mine who spends almost every night of the week at some event or another, and she agreed with my observation without hesitation.

the trend i'm talking about is the cutting down of invitations for two. an increasing amount of invitations are for one person only -- sometimes rashly accentuated by an addition of "this invite is personal" like at stockmann's opening party of the f8 restaurants as if manufacturing fake invites or handing down an invitation posed a real problem for organizers.

i am not claiming that there weren't a myriad of other reasons at work here, but the correlation between sending single invites and the phenomenon of poor attendance seems rather strong. it is understandable that cutting down expenses is essential these days, but my observations have been corroborated by many of my friends': the parties are more extravagant than ever, but there are almost no people at the events themselves. free flow of champagne cannot cover up the fact that (important) people do not show up.

sometimes i hear people receiving party invitations less than a week before the event which simply means they only made the b-list and the a-list did not rsvp. not only is sending last minute invitations unprofessional and kinda desperate (and rude), it should tell the organizers that something is seriously wrong although the event seems well-planned.

finnish event organizers have steadily been improving the basics and these days the food and booze are classy and yummy. realizing that more and more often the tables are superabundant with finger food and filled glasses of drinks when the party is starting to fade seems weird at a time of recession talk: at these desperate times free fun should work like a magnet!

but it comes down to simple psychology: we feel more comfortable going with someone. if it is strictly business, we'll attend, but most of the events i'm talking about reside prominently on the socializing (i.e. eating, drinking and music) side of things with the sporadic product placement or promotion. the people who will show up at these events are a small group who have time to call each other and compare calendars and dresscodes. that is, they also make sure they are essentially going with someone.

a lot of people don't call people they know to enquire whether they also were invited and whether they're planning to go for the simple reason that most people just don't have the time. most people, if in doubt, will choose not to attend, and it does not mean they aren't sociable or well-networked -- quite the opposite.

my friends tell me constantly that they decided to decline an invite because they got a single invitation. they feel comfortable mingling, but don't look forward to doing a whole night of it in case no-one close enough decides to show up. closer to home, my sweetie received an invitation to have dinner at kämp and see tina turner, but turned it down because a night with some random and unknown corporate faces was not seductive enough for a world-class sit-down dinner and a concert. sure, there could have been some networking opportunities, but after brief consideration a night at home watching a movie felt better. therefore, a no-show.

if saving on expenses is the reason, skimping on invitations seems to create more problems than it solves if the result is a party with very few of the guests you wanted to show up. it also reveals that many organizers cannot appreciate the added value a spouse or a friend may provide an event; i think it is quite uninventive to believe that the only valuable guests are already on the list to begin with. it feels presumptuous that organizers believe that the event is amazing enough to lure their guests in unaccompanied. additionally, the sudden change has created some speculation about being less valued as a guest when others might be receiving double invitations -- a feeling any business, i'm sure, would like to avoid.

i say, bring back the avec! cut down the guest list if needed, throw away the goodie bags (which are usually frivolous anyway) and even skimp on the menu, but make your guests feel appreciated. one of the worst fears of people is to end up standing alone at a party. in the company of friends they are sure to enjoy almost anything you've got to offer.

lighten up.

yea yea yea. i'm still a little p****d off from the unintentional political content of my trip to stockholm, but the sun, the spring and all things shiny and new are just around the corner. i know i showed you a glimpse of my playful style side before, but the monochromatic minimalist is back to basics taking baby steps and, hence, my attempts to brighten up the day are very slight indeed.

nevertheless, i realized that my aim for color resulted in a play of shapes and forms. (i need to collect myself...) so i'll bore you with shots.

i started a couple of days ago with just adding more white. a white pair of dr martens boots adds just enough brightness. the rodebjer skirt is fun, can be worn zipper both front and back, and fits really boxy around the hips thanks to the folded pockets -- a fact which probably explains i got a great deal on it at beam since very few women enjoy accentuating their hip area.

after going whitey-brite, i gathered my courage for actual color. my relationship with purple and all its shades is complicated: i know it suits me, but i feel uneasy in it. perhaps it is because i associate it with my teen years and feel all grown up now (as if). perhaps it has sumthin' to do with subcultures that overuse purple and my dislike of them. dunno.

in any case, i love this lilac blouse i found at uff about three years ago. i wear it rarely, but love the fact that it brings an extra oomph to my very slight shoulders and i look almost balanced. the frills look slightly ridiculous on me, but an extra laugh or two a day won't hurt.

since surviving last summer without shades of salmon and coral was impossible, i will keep adding them to my spring gear as well. the belt is from monki (a post of my other stockholm treats will follow later) and the 80's heels from beacon's closet in brooklyn.

and once you almost got over the sight of me wearing that boxlike skirt, you get this: the insanely unflattering (if you think in traditional terms, but we don't, now do we?) jeans that create a humongous bum and shorten the legs are also from monki and i think i'll wear them until they become derelict...

now i'm going to give up thinking politics and retire to more urgent matters... such as what to wear on may day. you got plans, yet?

Monday, April 27, 2009

political cruisin'.

greetings from a memorable cruise to stockholm!

we took off from the port of helsinki late friday afternoon. after stepping on board the ship we instantly noted that the crowd was peculiar: we had accidentally booked our trip to coincide with the euro election cruise of the finnish centre party.

the centre party is on the conservative side of finnish political map and the heir of the rural party -- an image which they struggle with. as a personal opinion, it appears as though the representatives of the centre party are those who mainly fear the disappearance of the good olden times when "all finns" were blonde, heterosexual, meat-eating, god-fearing, and hardworking. their political actions are directed at resuming that illusion and ideal and, needless to say, i do not exactly identify with any of them and they hardly impress me with acuity.

their current slogan "urhoutta eurooppaan!" rides on references to both the late finnish president urho kekkonen and bravery, and is most likely meant to appeal to people hovering between the populist right wing and romantic notions of finnishness. the campaign creation of phs was quickly transformed by some drunken party members themselves to "urpoutta eurooppaan!" and roughly translates to "rednecks to europe!" ... how convenient.

sadly (for them) we were challenged to a political debate by some eager party members and had to conclude that their grand idea of promoting everything finnish echoed emptiness. my questions "what do you mean by finnish? do you represent all finns or just the conservative hicks who fear everything unfamiliar? what about the kind of finnish i identify myself with?" were left unanswered or with vague mumbling of "normalcy". the agricultural minister sirkka-liisa anttila got explicitly uncomfortable when i posed my simple questions and she asked us "who we were" as if she suspected she was facing something other than politically aware normal citizens...

i am and have been deeply troubled by the conservative backlash in finnish politics. populist strategies thrive on simplifications that are read as honest opinions; saying ignorant things openly is regarded as refreshing sincerity. when did our politics turn into an admiration of forrest gump?

Friday, April 24, 2009

music sounds better with you.

aussies are at it again. miami horror is 22 year-old benjamin plant, a melbourne born and bred dj and producer. "make you mine" is a definite feelgood song to take you towards the weekend's bounciest dancefloors...

download the mp3 via rcrdlbl.

go west!

i'm off to stockholm this evening. it is a short trip, but a welcome breather after a pretty hectic and productive week.

since swedes rule the fashion world of cool, i find traveling there slightly stressful. oh, how i wish i oozed the calm nonchalant chic of swedish chicks! but i don't.

fortunately, not having the je-ne-sais-pas our western neighbors nourish themselves as a birthright with, does not prevent us from enjoying the products they provide for our ever so hungry style eyes. and since swedes were always cool (or smthng), even their retro brands are amazing.

one of them is swedish hasbeens who claim to sell "clogs, shoes, toffels and accessories".

for a moment imagine a finnish company pushing a product with its finnish name "we sell sneakers, shoes, reinos and such"? don't see it happening? neither do i. but swedes will go for it, and they'll sell the product clad in shiny american apparel leggings.

*pause for admiration*

the company creates items based on products from the 70's. everything is made of ecologically prepared natural grain leather in the same small factory near stockholm they were made ever since the 70's. also, the products are made by hand.

since my quest for the perfect black bag is eternal and i have given up trying to find just one, i have begun adding beautiful items for different purposes. my newest addition is the large shoulder bag from swedish hasbeens. it is soft black leather and i hope it will age gracefully. i got mine from minus and they sell them online...

i hope it will act as a partial disguise so i can blend in on my trip to the land of über-ice-cold...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

alice in wonderland.

the ad campaign i wrote about previously finally came out. it is for an entertainment ensemble, and the pic we worked on is printed on top of the box. i assisted in styling alice, the rabbit and the mad hatter-slash-type-of-figure.

i'm pretty stoked with the result. yay!

greetings from lapland!

i spent last week on mount levi, in lapland. it was my first time ever; i've traveled the world quite a bit, but somehow never managed to make it up north in my own country.

i expected reindeer, but the fact that they roam free had escaped me, and i was stunned to see them grazing by the side of the road. i had figured they'd be confined in large areas by some sort of fencing, but was proven erroneous.

our cabin was rustic and large and had a magnificent view of the mountain. there were six of us (excluding jorma) and there was ample room in great company.

i am not exactly an outdoorsy person (surprise!) and my previously established plan was to tap away during the day and spend the nights at, ahem, after ski. it turned out that half of the people were homebodies and only three took to the slopes. we entertained ourselves with wii fit and books.

we weren't completely deprived of fresh air. on the first day we took off with some snow mobiles. i've got an innate fascination for gadgets and motor operated vehicles of all sorts, but i fear them, as well.

needless to say, i tried my best to avoid facing my fear on numerous occasions, but finally ended up on my own speed racer. i was ready to quit after we climbed a very bumpy slope to the top of the mountain, but bit my lip and made the whole trip. next morning everyone woke up with a sore back and i think my thumb still feels numb...

a safer option was the toboggan. i've downhill skied as a child and snowboarded for a few years until i wrecked my knee whilst snowboarding in canada. since then my days in the slopes have been few and fragile, and these days i prefer the kiddie way of enjoying the snow.

and what a genius invention the toboggan lift is! we were able to avoid every bit of racing heartbeats by just sitting steadily in our little plastic containers...

i also tried cross-country skiing for the first time in years. i was quite a little skier when i was young, but gave it up in my teens. nevertheless, i had another go at it later in life: i was recruited to the cross-country ski team in my high school in canada on the assumption that all finns can ski. you wouldn't believe the surprise they got! i took part in one race and ran the whole way with skis stuck on my feet...

at levi, we took a 10km run around the lakes and i felt no need to have another go at it.

the idea of corporeal luxury tempted and, therefore, we also tested one of the spas in town. since my friend and i had no idea what a salt room was, it became our priority to find out.

we were given some green robes (no light sabers, unfortunately) and we sat in a humming room with salt coated walls for 45 minutes. i felt the substance on my lips, but otherwise the effect remained a mystery...

but the greatest mystery of them all was the predominance of mint green houses on the way to lapland. i am serious: mint green of the 80's.

after jyväskylä the number steadily increased and all shades of pastel green, from greyish light hues to neon mint, were present. anyone living around there care to explain?

next year we're going back. this time the lodge will be grander and hopefully poor jorma won't get lost in the jänkhä...

random facts about looks and stuff.

i'm grabbing a meme going around in the blogosphere, already finished by anna and anu among others.

1) are you happy with the way you look?
in a way. but if happiness translates into thinking i was ok looking, it gets rather complicated. you see, i was an ugly child and grew into one of those women whose looks give rise to comments like "unusual". therefore, i have never learned to base my self-esteem on my looks. i deal with the reality, but if asked if i think i'm pretty, the answer would be "no" or "sometimes".

2) what would you change in your appearance?
depending on what i should aim at. i wanted to have surgery on my nose for years, but now i really don't care. i could work out a bit, to look more toned. i'd love to have clear skin.

3) how has you appearance been complimented?
i get a lot of compliments for being skinny and my strong, unusual (ha ha!) face. i've received compliments on my bone structure and my eyes. nevertheless, most of the compliments i receive are directed at my sense of style.

4) do you use make-up daily?

5) your basic make-up?
concealer, powder, brow color and gel, mascara, blush. for parties i add eye shadow, eyeliner, lip liner and shine and sometimes even false lashes.

6) the color and length of your hair?
a black angular short bob. i'm growing it. i have no idea of my natural color, but it is most likely somewhere around mousey blonde.

7) how often...

…do you dye your hair?
every two to three weeks. too often, to be quite frank. my hair grows like weed and a blonde root on black gives the impression of balding.

…wash your hair?
daily, in the mornings. sometimes twice. oily skin, oily hair.

as previously.

three times a week, very gently. i have blemish prone skin that goes through renewal periods extremely quickly (according to my doctor) and sloughing off excess cells is essential.

…visit a beautician?
i don't. i do visit a dermatologist at times.

…remove body hair?
daily in the summer, i'm rather neurotic, less often during winter.

…go to a sun tan salon?
i should go more often because my blemish prone skin benefits from some uv rays.

8 ) how do you wear your hair?
well, it hangs.

9) how is your hair at the moment?

10) do you use body lotion?
not often enough... my skin is not on the dry side, so i can get away with it.

11) your most typical outfit?
jeans 'n tees, converse. i wear dresses year round, too.

12) what are you wearing now?
teen size adidas blue track bottoms and a 2k basquiat print tee.

13) what kind of lingerie are you wearing?
red american apparel boy briefs (like kim in this video) and a sheer calvin klein bra.

14) how many pairs of jeans do you own?
a quick count resulted in 15, but i may have some stored away...

15) which shoes did you wear last?
off-white hi-top chuck taylors.

16) what kind of a jacket/coat did you wear last?
80's black leather jacket

17) what kind of a bra did you wear last?
black calvin klein tee-bra. i lurve my calvin bras.

18) your favorite jewelry?
my bracelets, there are many. some earrings. my watch.

19) nailpolish?
i'd love to, but my nails cannot take the drying effect. i'm suffering from the result of a two-week indulgence in black polish right now.

20) favorite perfume?
dior homme.

21) shampoo and conditioner?
kiehl's tea tree oil shampoo. i don't condition although i was told i should... oh snap!

22) what kind of rings do you wear?

23) do you watch your weight?
nope. if i try i get obsessed and usually end up gaining some. so i don't bother and it hovers around the same level without much effort.

24) what is the last compliment you received?
a 19-year-old sighed she hoped she looked like me at 32 after finding out my age... balmy.

25) would you have plastic surgery?
prolly not, but the reason is that i fear that something went wrong. i have very little trust in the medical profession and i blame my parents, both doctors who are very human with their errors and everything...

26) what's your make-up bag like?
a light green satin pouch with chinese lettering from h&m. i have no clue how i ended up owning it nor do i know why i still have it. ugly.

27) what color is your hairbrush?

28) are you using any wrinkle prevention products?
nope. oily skin...

29) how many purses do you own?
do i want to go here... at least 50, perhaps more.

30) do you have piercings or tattoos?
i've got a piercing in the top part of my right ear and two tattoos: one on my tail bone and one on my scalp.

food tweets.

microblogging's debatable usability has created some rather snarky commentaries like the mockumentary below:

i'm still not sure whether tweeting works for me since i seldom find anything worthy of posting and merely using twitter as a status updating device feels like throwing junkmail at my network. nevertheless, i continue to feel intrigued by twitter and this blog post in ny times reminds me that while new applications are beginning to be embraced they bring about ingenuity in some curious -- and often totally unnecessary -- forms.

tweeting your favorite recipe may provide a pleasant challenge for foodies; micro-recipes got a whole new meaning!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


i haven't forgotten you guys! busy working, attending a wedding of a friend, bday of a sister and some other get-togethers, i haven't had a blink of an eye for blogging.

moreover, i was in lapland for a week, drove home yesterday only to realize i was too late to attend elle style awards last night. bummer.

i'll be back. soon, i promise. in the meanwhile, i hope you enjoy this: "lover" by nite jewel. a loungey tune where twin peaks badalamenti takes on glass candy...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

let me introduce you...

... to someone very special. in a moment, that is.

i recently ran into marten weetsema's photography (above and below). he specializes in taking pictures of dogs and the results are some of the most exquisite portraits of our unswerving companions in life i've ever seen. i am deeply touched by his shots because i grew up with dogs and feel an incommensurable love for them.

although my parents have preferred retrievers and spaniels, my sister and i are devoted fans of greyhounds -- as is weetsema who shoots his greyhound, daan (above), regularly. the sleek beauty of the runner is incomparable and i relate to their quiet calm which is very unlike most dogs who tend to be fussy and too in-your-face with their affection. greyhounds are the most feline-like canines you can imagine, independent, reserved and poised.

and here she is: my baby.

her name is yoda, but she goes by jorma(-irmeli). she's 10 years old and the chirpiest little critter to have around. she's kept me warm sleeping tightly next to me under the duvet and comforted me when i've been down throughout the years and, miraculously, stimulates love and adoration in whoever she meets. she even turned my sweetie, who wasn't all that used to pets, into a committed and cherishing fan.

we've also lived through some tough times, such as cancer requiring several surgeries, a broken leg and several hilarious moments relating to her less than 10lbs (4kg) frame and the struggles her minute size creates. she has cataract which has slowly made her completely blind, but her bravery (or courageous trust in my guidance) on the streets is enviable.

she says hello!

chu choo!

ground-zero is the label of london based chu brothers specializing in subversive graphics and street-savvy design. this spring they came up with a whimsical collection of high-end unisex pajama-wear as outer-wear and titled it lazy, naughty 'n' sleepy.

the collection's core is the ultrasoft rayon/spandex material printed with dreamy soft graphics, such as care bears and pajama stripes, and drowsily draping, oversized forms.

since spring lures out my playful fashion sensibilities, i'm drawn to more colorful items than during the dark winter months. i got my cableknit printed tee/dress from wunder and love it combined with my silver painted denim messenger bag from marc by mj's men's line, antti asplund cross pendant and white(ish) converse. delishly comfy.

loving linus.

linus loves is a scottish duo best known for their remixes, and whose comeback single "prom night" is a sure summer dance hit. the bouncey disco seduces to the dance floor and grows to such happy heights it will keep smiles on faces long after mixed away... and the video is a campy implementation of a macabre horror classic. bounce away!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

daily dose of duft.

one of the moderately annoying addictions i formed whilst living in the big apple is kiehl's products. there's nothing even remotely irritating in the products themselves, but because they aren't available in stores here in finland nor online in europe, acquiring them is quite a nuisance.

established in 1851 in nyc's east village, kiehl's is known for amazing personal service, generous samples (which were significantly downsized in early 2000's, but you still get plenty...) and herbal fusions combined with a scientific attitude. their most famous product is probably their lip balm: a classic in a tube. i have several lingering around the house...

my fondness for kiehl's is based almost solely on their beautiful and subtle fragrances: natural scents of grapefruit, coconut and coriander refresh and sooth, and the tea tree oil shampoo feels invigorating without having a strong chemical astringent effect -- something i find too common an effect in many tea tree oil products. more than anything, i love the soft facial cleanser which doesn't irritate my sensitive and blemish prone skin. the packaging is simple and stylish.

i wholeheartedly recommend trying, but must warn you: you may never go back to yer olden ways...

Friday, April 3, 2009

a gala of pyramids.

i apologize for being awol, for giving you the silent treatment, and being late with posting everything. the reason is that i started at a new, full-time job, and have been really busy writing copy -- and rather uninspired after a long day to write anything else.

nevertheless, i intend to keep you posted regularly, but just need to find the spare time to do it after a pretty long while of being free(lance).

last thursday i attended the gala dinner organized by the finnish association of professional graphic designers, grafia, where the best of last year's advertising received awards.

a campaign i worked on briefly received one of the golden, small award pyramids (although for something i had nothing to do with), and that was reason enough to party. the entire list of winners and honors can be seen here (in finnish).

the night itself was less rowdy than i expected although by the end of the awards ceremony some tables (i.e. advertising agencies) already made quite a fuss for their own success by screaming and loud applause. the event is centered around back-patting and subtle (or not so subtle) recruiting, but i tried steering clear of job-talk -- almost succeeding, too. i enjoyed the company of friends, and importantly, the food was close to excellent (especially the desert was fab) and champagne was plentiful.

as per usual, i almost forgot about the event and ended up just grabbing the first safe thing in my closet to wear. it was a little black dress from zara and on my feet i sled a pair of patent leather pumps from marc by marc jacobs. again, struggling with accessories, i added a simple cuff from gaspard yurkievich.

simple, and hopefully elegant enough.

because it was still cold, i also wore my vivienne westwood coat, one of my most treasured and beautiful items of clothing. although i am thrilled to put it on, i cannot but wait for a reason to carry it into the storage because of spring.

(which brings to mind: where the heck did the sun go, huh?!)

the entertainment was centered around the awards presentations, but two burlesque performances and a very random opera singer appeared on stage at strange intervals resulting in people largely ignoring their carefully prepared additions to the program. although i think burlesque is a fun celebration of femininity, i am quite honestly finding the trend tiring: there doesn't seem to be a party without tassels 'n' titties in this town anymore...

the party continued at motellet from where i took a quick leave home.

and what would a gala of graphic designers be without appropriately pimped paper for the royal tushies...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

brightening up #1.

it's spring and time for brightening up. where else to start than your feet, right? i am a true converse girl at heart (and feet) and usually get my chucks in high top, but this spring it's all bright and solid low white for me.

i got these at the converse sample sale my friend, who imports converse, holds biannually. i'm ready to get miss golightly on you, spring!