Thursday, October 29, 2009

hello there, care to spare a moment?

i've had some media attention as of late, and have posed for a couple of magazines because of style related issues. this sudden exposure and my immersion into the blogger community have clarified a few sores about blogging, topics dealt with by sugar kane and jaakko and prolly many others as well (feel free to link yourselves).

anyways, a few weeks ago i was interviewed about my blog. first and foremost i was surprised – to say the least – to be picked out as an interviewee for a fashion blog story. yeah, i talk about fashion and i have inconspicuously teetered towards talking mostly about it, but i see myself as such a marginal creature both in the blogosphere and (life)stylewise that an interview felt a rather excessive exposure.

i had to think about it before accepting. my reason for blogging is not in gaining publicity; i'd actually think i suffer from a self-created dilemma with publicity. i'm too old(-fashioned) to consider my online-self as a terribly important portrayal of me as a person and my aim is to reach like-minded people (in the areas i blog about). therefore, i accepted as long as i could talk in the cover of the blogger pseudonym.

i am well aware that many bloggers seek work opportunities through their blogs, and many consider their web-personalities as crucial extensions or parts of their true or professional selves. the branding of oneself is already a huge business: consultants and guides exist and assist the most mediocre of us to find our true potential and become a person whose entire being resonates the brand of "me". in addition to cv-construction and having the "right" hobbies, blogging is one of the foremost tools in the creation of modern professional me2.0. by writing a blog you potentially nail a few essential characteristics of a great cv simultaneously: tech-savvy, modern, hip, creative and capable of producing meaningful content.

i have followed closely some success stories of self-branding through blogging and admired the amazing results perseverance and dedication may offer. a thoughtfully and meticulously created blogger persona, such as silver's, can be the most valuable calling card in the world without sacrificing one's personal life. huge kudos for that.

i, nonetheless, don't consider my own blog a calling card or any other sort of promotional tool. surely, keeping a public blog is, whether i want it or not, an extension of my real self and a public persona no matter how insignificant. nevertheless, my attempt has not been to create a holistic, logical or coherent image of myself – quite the opposite, actually.

fashion is one of the topics my normal off-line existence does not cover: most of my friends do not share my interest in fashion, and the few conversations i have about it take place with blogging friends, online and offline. fashion has only briefly had a professional significance in my life. therefore, this blog – and especially the fashion content – is an outlet of ideas i hardly ever compose for live situations. quite honestly, my capabilities for holding a conversation about fashion and clothes irl are rather substandard. this is very much my own little, otherwise neglected niche of being.

obviously my biggest concern about the interview was what to wear: i was playing the role of a fashion blogger, after all. i wanted to look credible on multiple levels: mature, clever, fashion forward, casual and effortless. for me that meant many a sleepless night since i'm sure you've noted i go for one theme, fail at producing it and end up with around two casually connected references. attempting five at once felt like was reaching for an impossible overachievement... the result was simple.

tank top (underneath) by muji, shirt by helmut lang, jeans by cheap monday, sneakers by converse.

my hesitations aside, i'll tip you off when the story comes out and you can read my musings yourselves. as i said, i was nervous about the interview for many reasons, but mostly because i was about to meet a reader i did not know before. nevertheless, as i dealt with the slight panic of being asked for an interview, i also left the situation pondering some of the questions i was asked – especially the questions about you people reading my smatter about stuff.

not that i haven't thought about you before – i definitely have and i actively do – but i was (almost) utterly clueless about what kinds of people sit on the other side of the screen. fyi, out of my thousand daily visitors, there are around 200 of you regular readers and only a handful has ever left a comment. you still keep on coming back and reading. several of you are from abroad, but my regular discussers are fellow finns.

therefore, and encouraged by the comments sugar kane has received to her little questionnaire, i ask you, my dear readers, a few (probably familiar looking to some of you, let's just call this a meme, now shall we? *snicker*) questions as well. i hope you take the couple of minutes to scribble something for me, please.

obviously you're more than entitled to use finnish, if you wish. and i do hope that my "stalking" friends – you know who you are – answer as well... [add *wink* in case you think i'm condemning "stalking" since i ain't.]

1. how long have you been reading my blog?
2. how did you find my blog?
3. why do you read it? what do you feel you get from reading it?
4. please, introduce yourself. if you wish to tell me a little bit about your background, present or future, please do so. i'd love to know any timbits you're willing to share.
5. any recommendations, words of wisdom, wishes, ranting?

i will start from the assumption that you're not reading in order to get stuff, so i won't bribe you to answer. i hope the fact that you return to read provides reason enough to indulge me. if, however, you leave comments wishing for a raffle of somekind at point 5, i'll consider it, select something cool'n'hip and you'll be included automatically.

now, let's hear from you. you'll make my day.

Monday, October 26, 2009


guerilla stores are old news already, but the trend of temporariness seems to be expanding. after i expressed my annoyance about the acceleration of trend cycles as the instigator of stuff accumulation – and provoked excellent additions to the topic from anna, anu and sugar kane – i wanted to return to the topic of transience. although i remain critical of trend quickening, not all haste is something i detest.

i have a soft spot for nostalgic old stores and grieve the loss of regular nooks i have learned to visit. mourning small specialty grocery stores is an often brought up subject, but i also feel for other businesses facing extinction. the realization that, for example, traditional small finnish clothing boutiques for ordinary men's and ladieswear will disappear as their owners retire only to be taken over by chain stores, concept stores and expensive, specialty boutiques, makes me incredibly sad. i will miss the tacky sale signs scribbled with magic markers on fluorescent roll paper and the names like te-ra vaate (te-ra clothing, the name supposedly originates from the names of the owners terttu and raija) and housumies (i.e. pantsman, way cooler than dressmann although occurring next to each other the latter sounds positively queer...). they are as much a part of urban historical landscape as snobby literati cafes and drunk infested parks.

the recession created spatial vacancy in every city: many small establishments and unnecessarily expansive franchises took their last breaths in the past year liberating plenty of prime retail space. the hesitant manner new businesses emerged and were willing to sign long-term leases created an opportunity for impermanent operations. it is guerilla time like never before and the increase in fast-forward retail is tremendous. opening, selling and leaving in a matter of a fortnight could seem odd from the point of view of traditional business planning. lacking the intention of securing a customer base and continuity, these pop-up stores seek to feed the variety seeking nomad.

sure, it might be suspected that guerilla fashion stores propagate impulse shopping like no other; the apprehension of disappearance before coming to a reasoned decision whether to buy or not is a real motivating factor without a doubt. nevertheless, the emergence of a guerilla space means an experience beyond shopping even as we understand it today – a recreational way to regard a space and fill it with fleeting social interaction.

the more intriguing temporary phenomena are guerilla restaurants. usually in the form of food-trucks (because of legal (i.e. health and sanitary) reasons and the difficulty of finding proper cooking facilities other than designated restaurant spaces) they sell quality grub instead of the shady, greasy goo we're used to watch landing on our expecting hands at fairs and such. they come and go at will, but come with a newly added culinary pride.

although many guerilla retail trucks sell foods uncommon to restauranteurs on the move, there are traditionalists, as well, such as ice-cream trucks. some come with additional quirks, such as the big gay ice-cream truck. despite raising the expected controversy amongst some americans, their fave slogan is the positively political "winning over homophobes one bacon/chocolate sandwich at a time", and they offer olive oil and sea salt toppings in addition to their famous caramelized bacon. the guerilla politics just took one step further.

the element of surprise cannot rely on just landing somewhere, because random passers-bys do not a happening create. the traditional commercialization has caught up and there is already at least one permanent pop-up space in nyc, called openhouse gallery that informs through a blog and, naturally, twitter. tweets provide the perfect tools for communicating locations, and following the feeds of volatile entrepeneurs, you can treat yourself to an experience that thrives on temporariness.

does the vagabond element of surprise appeal to you?

Friday, October 23, 2009


the international breast cancer awareness month runs through october, but finns are wearing pink today as the national awareness day takes place. as the second most common form of cancer and the fifth on the lethality scale, breast cancer is responsible for 1% of deaths in the world. it may sound insignificant, but means hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. i lost my maternal grandmother to the disease and the devastating condition has touched many of my near and dear ones.

therefore, i among many others am wearing pink today. true to my fall somber self, i will add just a hint during the day and go slightly more extravagant [sic!] towards night. for the day look i will add pink boots i have named "steak" because they resemble slabs of meat. an old 2004 acquisition from nyc, these argentinean ankle boots are as comfortable as shoes can be. tonight i'll meet some friends at a bar, go racy and flash some bra under a sheer pink tee (har har, that's about as racy as i go...). both outfits have some interesting pocket action going on – the first on the jacket, the second on the skirt – to draw attention away from the chest. quite fitting for the theme, me thinks, since part of the reason breast cancer creates such suffering is the importance we place on the chest of a woman as the signifier of her femininity.

black blazer, silk tee and coated jeans by cos, pink boots by de maria. pink tee by h&m, skirt with zipper by rodebjer, tights by wolford, suede booties by zara. pink cross pendant by antti asplund, leather bracelet by fifth avenue shoe repair.

are you wearing pink?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

sometimes i just wanna dance.

if new order, daft punk and alan braxe merged together the result could easily be miami horror's newest single "sometimes". and that ain't all bad... enjoy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


as someone who describes her own style as "urban androgyne", fashion designers who claim to embody the androgynous ideal always strike my fascination. there are at least two sides to fashion epicenism: first, combining feminine and masculine elements in order to create a somewhat balanced symbiosis of both and, second, dressing up in garments that are undecipherable as either feminine/masculine and/or that create a gender unapparent look.

our cultural heritage of regarding the male as the representative and exemplar human shows in how fashion considers gender ambiguous style: often androgynous women's fashion has meant dressing up in men's clothes and hiding feminine bodily signifiers. as a perfect paragon, hedi slimane era dior homme suit is still my dreamwear, but i do realize that one probably would not fit my curvature. although the epitomical le smoking mastered by ysl is a curve conscious reconstruction of menswear, androgynous dressing more often than not relies on having the body of a little waify boy. while i believe that the true feminine form comes in everything from flat-packed to erupting volume as equally womanly, an androgynous fashion line does not fulfill its purpose if it cannot suit both straight lines and some curve.

brands like complex geometries provide an easy association. their collection is almost fully unisex and created to suit different body shapes in ways many clothing brands only envision in their brand strategies. flowing cotton and wool knits provide a versatile basis for transforming a garment conformable to various bodies, but creating a unisex line with more constructed pieces is definitely more challenging.

therefore, i was happy to stumble into chrønicles øf never, the utilitarian, androgynous and (mostly) unisex line from gareth moody. the designer was one of the founders of tsubi (now ksubi), the indie and fashion credible surfer denim brand from australia, but took his own leap of faith in 2005. his collections from 2006 onwards are anything but the surfing beach bum type: they're as urban, architecture inspired as contemporary collections can be. a full line of clothing, shoes and accessories, the con (pun intended, supposedly) offers a full selection of goods i could imagine wearing. additionally, the website is a real gem: beautiful both visually and textually.

the appeal of the unisex imagery comes hand-in-hand with other aesthetic presumptions of mine. both aforementioned brands repeat certain styles and claim not to follow trends: their continuation is not based on accumulation and seasonal transformation as the fundamental core of style and fashion, that is, they do not evolve based on "reinvention" i.e. on creating new needs in their customers for yet more stuff. the topic of desire generation is something i want to return to, but here i'll settle for pointing out that, against the fashion world status quo, i believe it to be unnecessary to both love fashion and to accept the norm of new trend seasons after another. i don't yearn for static fashion or a slow fashion movement alongside all the other nauseating slow life trends, but a more cohesive appreciation of apparel as expression.

despite closing on sounding blasphemous, i will repeat myself from my posting on glasses: i consider my style "thoughtfully complete". the shivering the expression creates implies that i have devoured the consumer credo of fashion as a neverending process of desires like a slippery oyster. the utterance sounds self-satisfied and, most importantly, very unfashionable. admittedly, style completion does not imply an end to consuming, but it sometimes seems that once you're "done" personal fashion talk becomes futile. this urban androgyne is all but done, but i welcome the eradication of all the pre- and the cruise lines.

what do you say: does the amount of spewed out new trends overwhelm you? or do you love the fact that fashion never stops, but always recreates itself?

Friday, October 16, 2009

a song for the weekend.

kamicha posted a great video for cat power's "the greatest" that made my yesterday. it also made me realize that i have a habit of building my dj-sets from elements that i repeat: i always start from beauty, i.e. light pop gems, build the set towards rock and punk, finish with electro and/or italo disco and, as a final song, i always play bonnie tyler's "holding out for a hero". depending on the time of the night my listeners may get a very different idea of my style, but i stick to eclectic...

for years i have started my set with one of these three songs: the aforementioned "the greatest", goldfrapp's "a&e" or flunk's version of "blue monday". here's the last to start your weekend. enjoy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a framed life.

since you've seen my pics it probably does not come as a surprise that i wear glasses. because i believe you, my dear readers, to be extremely observant and keen for detail, you must have noted that my personal style, that i'd like to consider thoughtfully complete and playful at best, is complimented by a rather boring and unsuitable choice of spectacles. let me assure you that i am well aware of it, as well.

i have worn glasses since i was 8 years old. at entering the third grade, my teacher noted me squinting and i was quickly forwarded to my mother's ophthalmologist. my first pair of glasses were bright red and completely round, and i looked like a perky little professor. quite fitting, really, since i was a walking encyclopedia at that point in my life.

since then my sight has deteriorated at a pace that vexed my parents. around my 25th bday, my eyes found peace within and the degeneration stopped at -7.5 diopters, give or take a quarter. for those with perfect eye-sight i will elaborate: the figure translates to an ability to see 15cm sharply and things turning into a blur afterwards. the limit of severe myopia is -6 and official blindness starts around -10 diopters and, thus, i am pretty much as blind as a bat.

living with poor sight means that i completely lose functionality without my glasses: i have hurt myself numerous times at public saunas and at summer cottages because i have had to take them off for some reason or another. i keep an extra pair in my nightstand drawer in case i misplace my glasses accidentally: i cannot find the lost pair without another one on. the few times i have woken up and seen the ceiling means i fell asleep with my contacts – a rather painful experience. needless to say, the option of forgetting to wear them (something i hear happens to many people...) is unimaginable.

additionally, myopia comes with other little quirks: people who work with text often develop a slight strabismus, i.e. my eye wanders when it's attempting to focus on small details. this particular foible shows in photos and adds a touch of lunacy to my otherwise immaculate [sic!] look. moreover, i also suffer from nocturnal myopia, i.e. my night vision is worse than average. another source of creative stumbling at cottages and natural environments – no wonder i love cities with bright lights so much. contacts work fine when i'm off work, but concentrating on the screen of my laptop dries my eyes and causes pain.

i am one of the fifth of young adults in finland who need to wear corrective lenses, but the severity of my condition makes me a part of a very small minority. after over two decades of myopic life i have obviously lived through all imaginative phases of self-doubt: as a child i was never teased for my four-eyes, but when i reached puberty there wasn't such a creature as the cool indie nerd with ironic glasses. hipsters came a decade too late for me. for a girl spectacles meant you were an outcast, simple as that, and my first pair of contacts created such a memorable turning point in my social life that i still remember the two weeks between ordering and receiving them as anxiety filled and revolutionary: my personal paradigm shift of turning dateable.

the newly found freedom came at a price: after overexposing my eyes to contacts in high-school, i had to stop wearing them regularly for some years. fortunately, i was going to a place where nerds were accepted: during my time at the university the glasses grew on me and became a part of my personality – so much so, that i sometimes feel naked without them.

the cultural belief that glasses make you appear more intelligent lives on strong and i have been "accused" of wearing glasses to appear smart(er). there is research suggesting pleiotropical connection between high iq and myopia, but i find explanations pointing towards other correlations more convincing. that is, children suffering from myopia tend to be clumsier and, therefore, devote their time to activities that will not injure them – nearsighted kids read rather than play ball. myopic kids don't recognize their friends from the other side of the playground and can appear socially awkward – some more time for reading, then. moreover, kids with poor eyesight tend to be seated in the front of classes. needless to say, all these correlating factors work as an explanation only if other conditions are favorable: i learned to read at four when i was still very agile and fearless, and there are theories that lengthy visual concentration early in life can also induce myopia, not the other way around.

i have definitely used the stereotypes to my advantage when i started teaching. when half of my students were older than myself, they added credibility. even presently their effect is increased respect. therefore, i understand the desire to wear status glasses at times. the reason i haven't got rid of mine has nothing to do with credibility, however, but my hesitation to let a sufficiently healthy organ be tampered with needlessly. i already know what it means to be blind, and i have no intention of taking any risks that could leave me permanently so – there aren't odds low enough to mean i could not end up the unfortunate one with damage.

glasses it is, then. as an essential everyday accessory, glasses are a signifier of personal and peer style. for someone like myself who considers fashion a play of personality and belonging, wearing (or not wearing) glasses and the choice of spectacles is no small deal. not being able to wear glasses that fit one's image of oneself is dissatisfying to say the least and absolutely horrific at worst. when larger frames appeared five years ago i keenly went to the optician and returned with similar glasses you've seen me wear here. a couple years later large frames were everywhere, but i got the ones you've seen. i didn't want to, but i had to.

why? because myopia as severe as mine limits the choices in frames – especially if you're interested in retaining a normal shaped head and eyes that do not resemble pin heads at the bottom of a glass jar. strong correction warps the entire area covered by a lens‚ and myopia is corrected with lenses that minimize everything visible behind them. therefore, the sides of the face become contracted and with a high enough frame your face ends up looking like a pear. with a jawline like mine, i haven't felt up for the challenge. minuscule eyes become more apparent the larger the lens area and ultimately disappear into the abyss of the face. nah, not up for that either...

so you can imagine how excited i was to see round frames making a comeback! round could work, look artsy and fresh on me, right? kinda like vuokko nurmesniemi whose style closes in on iconic...

right? wrong. comeback, yes; availability, nonexistent.

so i relied on my steady supplier, chanel. their frames come in sizes that are small enough for my face – yup, guess what, my face is so narrow that most frames do not fit at all, and the ones that do, i need a special order for. let's just say that specsavers is not my destination nor my price range because severe myopia does not come cheap. ever. a pair of glasses ends up costing around 750€ which means i don't purchase them on a whim.

i ended up ordering a pair of slightly larger frames from chanel's new denim line. they arrived a week ago and i have already noted another reason why larger lenses are not a great choice: my glasses weigh enough to hurt the bridge of my nose. nevertheless, i am content with them although they feel "old" already. happy or excited, nope, but alright and fine.

at times like these i just wish i could afford playing dame edna... sigh.

i'm sure i'm not alone... if you wear glasses, did you have trouble finding the right pair? how many do you have and do feel the need to change them with outfits? if you don't need glasses, have you ever considered (or do you) wear image glasses for any (tell me!) reason?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

additional chapter.

attitudes towards etiquette divide people, but i fall into the category of individuals who appreciate and enjoy codes of social conduct. i love browsing books on etiquette, from emily post's early editions to current finnish ones. dress codes do not cause anxiety on my part, but offer relief. parties that follow a strict etiquette are a charming play of subtle elevation from everyday tumble and jumble.

i know a few people who find etiquette a nuisance: their view is based roughly on the idea that rules of conduct are pretension and an unfortunate trace of class society that is used to separate between rich snobs and honest, down-to-earth people. dress codes create insecurity, uncertainty and an unnecessary pressure to dress up or against one's personality. behavior guided by etiquette feels like a theater play, all pretense and charade. i can see where they're coming from, although i do not agree.

the codes of etiquette differ very little from common courtesy most of us take for granted. the reason many are unfamiliar with party etiquette is because celebration is such a minor part of life, as are other formal events where the people gathered are loosely tied to each other. thus, etiquette is something that requires learning. for example, dress codes demand some thought, but help in comfort because once realized properly one does not have to pay attention to fitting in although there is plenty of room for personality expression. moreover, courteous speech is one of the easiest way to display admiration and respect. internalized codes create stability in situations where uncertainty would easily rule. the constancy and predictability appeal to me.

nevertheless, there is another side to etiquette, namely breaking it. as with all kinds of rebellion, it seems futile if there is no comprehensible background. breaking rules because one deems rules unfounded or unjust is very different from opposing rules just because learning them would take time and effort. it is the same with scientific critique: i've lost count of the times i've asked a student who writes about opposing a Grand Narrative or wants to renounce the use of the term 'individual' whether they know what is wrong with Grand Narratives or why 'individual' is such a problematic concept.

without an understanding of the history and background of concepts and codes, critique echoes emptiness. for example, supporting a postmodern stance without understanding how it differs from a modern one is all too common among social scientists today and it shows as haphazard theorizing full of inexplicable gaps. in another context, behaving badly because of ignorance is not an efficient way to show elderly societé ladies that sometimes their stiff rules need some freshening up or upgrading.

through work i have realized that even among people who believe to know etiquette, novel situations sometimes provide behavioral dilemmas. while dj'ing at museum openings i have been exposed to incomprehensible verbal abuse, always from middle-aged ladies and older gentlemen who, presumably, believe to know their way around social situations. nevertheless, they are not the only ones who are uncomfortable or clueless in the presence of the dj.

therefore, based on my experiences, here's an addition i propose emily post publishes in her next edition: a short list of rules on "how to treat the disc jockey".

1. remember that the dj is working, i.e. performing a task they are paid for. do not unnecessarily intrude or disturb their ability to do their duty.

2. the dj has been asked to play because the organizer of the event in question has wanted them there. the situation is comparable to an event where a wagner soprano or a jazz quartet is performing. act with appropriate respect. the dj wants you to enjoy your event.

3. the dj is not a jukebox. their selection of music is not unlimited. nevertheless, they may accept requests for songs. there are some considerations:
a) stick to the genre the dj is playing in your requests. if you cannot differentiate between genres, pose your questions delicately. a dj playing electro will probably not have red hot chili peppers or flamenco.
b) have your request ready when you approach the dj. if the song is not available for any reason, do not start to think of another one. there is very little time between song changes.
c) if asking for certain genres (like trance, punk, rock), remember that the dj probably understands niches of music differently depending on their own interests. therefore, it is preferable to stick to individual bands or songs in your requests.
d) if you rather listened only or predominantly to your favorite music, stay at home or start dj'ing yourself. the point of a dj is to have someone choose the music for you. allow them to do that.

4. if you do not like the music, your options are as follows:
a) ask for a song you like (as above)
b) leave the dancefloor
c) tell the organizer of the event that you do not like the performer s/he booked
d) leave the event
e) all of the above.

5. do not ever complain, protest, sign offensively or make faces at the dj if you do not like what they're playing – as you would not the jazz quartet or the wagner soprano, now would you?

6. if the volume seems off, tell the staff or the organizer. the dj usually has strict guidelines for volume levels and cannot alter them to your personal preferences.

7. as a general rule, if the music at the event is not suitable, the problem is not the dj, but the booking; that is, someone has asked the dj to perform. dj's have a repertoire just like any other performer and they are selected according to it.

8. a few remarks that should never pass your lips (and their snarky responses):
-"could you play something good?" (yeah, please be a little more subjective...)
-after asking for several songs "well, what do you have?" (around a thousand songs that i have no time to list for you...)
-"i hate this song!" (bummer, i love it, i'm playing, i win!)
-"you ruined my night!" (nah, you did it all by yourself by staying and complaining...)

9. finally, remember that there isn't a dj that does not wish you love the music they play. if you do, let them know. it will make you both happy!

anything else you may want to add from the point of view of the audience or dj? i'm listening.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

one day we're gonna live in paris. i promise.

i've been quiet for a while, i know. a big launch kept me fully occupied at work last week, and we topped the busy days off with a long weekend trip to paris.

we stayed at mama shelter and enjoyed the luxurious hotel atmosphere. a place that offers kiehl's for toiletries cannot be all bad and the restaurant seemed a local hotspot. i wholeheartedly recommend it although the surrounding area is not as bustling as they'd have you believe.

it was a rainy and chilly weekend, but some warm sunshine graced our way, perfect for just walking around. post-fashion week the streets of paris were emptied of models and celebrities – not that i looked or would have recognized any of them anyway. japanese tourists shot random people (my sweetie included) at the tuileries as per usual, but otherwise the streets and cafes were refreshingly empty of fashionista wannabes trying to stalk people outside the fashion events themselves. personally i do not understand why anyone would stand for hours outside fashion shows, never setting foot inside, just to shoot people whose photos will appear (in better quality) on the pages of the sartorialist... maybe they hope they'll get an opportunity like petra, who popped by a ny fashion week party and found herself invited to shows in paris. a lucky girl she is!

shopping-wise the trip was uneventful: i grabbed a few items from cos which has slowly become my favorite high street store surpassing zara, but is unfortunately unavailable in finland. the sweets got a wallet from louis vuitton – where i realized i need to hoist my dj fees in order to afford their limited edition black python damier dj-bag (at 6800€ they had sold two) – and we stocked up on delicacies like olive oils and macaroons. my plan was to buy the perfect boyfriend blazer and i found one at stella mccartney, but they were out of my size. bummer.

predominantly we concentrated on being tourists: i spoke my hilariously poor french and got by fine because the locals were incredibly helpful and wanted to understand my rambling. contrary to the rumors, parisians are definitely not snotty by any standards.

we rode up le tour eiffel, walked along champs-élysées, admired the notre dame and tried to visit the catacombes ("closed due to vandalism until new order" – i hope they're referring to the band...). we also went to some sources of origin: enjoyed bloody marys at harry's bar and ate a sumptuous, long dinner at buddha bar. nevertheless, the line at laduree provided reason enough to rely on our local bakery for macaroons and colette was so packed it reassured us on the superiority of shopping online (yet again), although their little rodarte collection offered the necessary art experience of the paris visit.

unsurprisingly, we witnessed parisians protesting something on the streets, a cat stuck in a tree meowing heartbreakingly (we helped him down with plenty of cooing), and ridiculous traffic. we realized that parisian coffee is horrendous (and actually started craving starbucks – seriously...) and beer is sold in fairly unbavarian quantities. we also suffered hunger because of our laissez-faire schedule that craved nourishment between the official times for lunch and dinner. early monday morning we walked the corridors of cemetery pere lachaise inhaling the chilly fall air.

all in all, the perfect getaway after a hectic week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

climb high.

admiration at its purest is a feeling one hardly ever experiences. i mean, one often thinks people are great and talented and admire their accomplishments, but with the addition of the hair in your arms sticking up and your face turning into a stupid glee, you know you're somewhere special.

my friend jori has always impressed me. he's best known in finland for being the musical whizz behind pmmp, but his own, more marginal projects reflect more accurately where he is musically at any given point. his band, magenta skycode, has just released a new ep and a new album will be out later this year.

here's the first track, "we're going to climb", that provided a mogwai moment (i.e. a moment of pure musical ecstasy i felt when i first saw mogwai play live...) albeit a happier one. the video is a collection of clips from their ex tempore trip through the us last year. awesome!

get their ep from itunes store.

Friday, October 2, 2009

spotted and spoiled.

perhaps as a mindboggling coincidence and destiny laughing at my face for real, i have loved acne jeans since the very beginning. around the same time i finished high-school and entered university, they emerged in the market with their cheekily named unisex denim line with signature red stitching in the back. i felt there was a soulmate somewhere in sweden – someone who shared my aesthetic eye and distorted humor. the clothes were clean-cut and understated, but had clever little details. they offered box-like tees for girls when everyone else was baring midriffs; they had a straight-cut leg when everywhere else the bootcut ruled.

inspired by the mud tones of anna and sugar kane i dug deep into my storage and rediscovered this divine leather skirt. if my memory serves me right, it's from acne f/w 2002/03 collection. it has the sleek lines of a recognizable acne garment, interesting details like the side-slits, elongated back and three rectangular pockets and, naturally, is impeccable quality as is the sheer tee from 2005.

tee and leather skirt by acne jeans, tights by wolford, booties by prada, brooch by gilles & dada.

then a few years ago something happened. all of a sudden the prices went inexplicably up. this was no small increase, but two- to three-fold. as a result, acne all but disappeared from stores in finland for a couple of seasons. in the meanwhile the brand got more coherent and less playful, and gradually started to reappear in small boutiques. the line was as interesting as ever, but already the prices seemed mismatched with the quality. generally it could be reasoned that the price increase fit with the superfluous it-bag era and that despite the pressure of label flaunting, acne continued on their path and produced interesting, streamlined clothes. somehow they felt worthy.

nevertheless, this fall crushed me completely. the economic crisis must have affected everyone in the industry and although i thank acne for not sacrificing great design, the did something worse. their current collection is primarily made of acrylic, polyester, triacetate and polyamide. there are some cashmere knits, but on the whole natural fibers seem awol. why oh why? there are beautiful dresses that i dread to touch. 300€ for a polyester garment is too much. too much no matter how great the design.

as my relationship with the more infuriating kind of acne continues against my will, my affair with the other is on a willful hold until i see some serious improvement. i am officially pissed off. period.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

wild phenomena.

the buzz is all around, and in a fortnight the premier of spike jonze's anticipated film where the wild things are will finally take place. a fantasy based on a 1963 childrens' book by maurice sendak it will be a concoction of beautiful tech-imagery and a heartfelt story of growing up. with the trailer playing arcade fire's "wake up" and the soundtrack music by karen o, it is obvious this movie is an indie darling.

what is incredible, though, is the amount of side projects and paraphernalia created around the film. sure, we're used to action figures (and they are available as well, kubrick figures by medicom, naturally) and board games, but jonze's film has attracted the communal efforts of the fashion world.

christian joy, who is responsible for many of karen o's incredible stage costumes, has created a collection of costumes inspired by the film. opening ceremony sells a line of clothing named after the characters of the film and also offers appropriately named jewelry by pamela love. urban outfitters serves the less avantgarde movie-buff with their collection of graphic tees by mary meyer, ugg boots and even cater to the home decorator with a selection of pillows and dolls. and if uggs ain't yer thing, there are always lakai's skate sneakers. and since you've got the shoes, you might as well get yerself a skateboard to fit, from girl skateboards limited edition range....

are you out of breath already? hardly, if ever has a release of a fantasy film arrived with such a massive side order of fashion enthusiasm and so obviously nudging the film towards an adult audience. the kid in all of us.

the underlying tension that feeds all fantasy storylines of losing and retaining innocence at its most exemplary can be seen in the collection by opening ceremony: the adult vs the kid.

pics from opening ceremony.

personally i consider this film more of a fashion event than the september issue. what do you think?

sign your name.

i read in the news today that according to a survey 90% of finns would be willing to donate their organs postmortem. as someone as secular as possible but who simultaneously has firm faith in the sanctity of cognizant and emotive life, the news feel reassuring to me. no matter how difficult it is to let go of a loved one after they pass on – including their physical remains–, there are lives that can continue because of a simple act of kindness that neither harms nor burdens absolutely anyone. news like these make me proud of my fellow citizens who generally try my patience more often than not when it comes to solidarity.

unfortunately, the survey revealed an additional fact: only 20% have signed a donation card officially declaring their willingness to relinquish their corporeal components for the benefit of others. there is absolutely nothing incredible in the incommensurability of the figures: people's moral declarations or even the most fundamental and innermost beliefs do not necessarily motivate action. when it comes down to doing good, we love to think about it. after thinking long enough we tend to believe we've done our part. sound familiar? to me it definitely does.

the saddest part of essential moral deeds and nondoings is that we're often prompted to act instead of imagining after we're personally touched by a tragedy. that is, when it is already too late.

let's prove statistics and motivational theories wrong. if you haven't already, do it now. the cards are available in the next weeks nationally. sign your name. time is of essence, life is unpredictable.