Monday, January 25, 2010

geisha boys and temple girls.

my finnish readers: glue your buttocks in front of the telly tonight. the amazing documentary made in sheffield about early 80's post-punk bands is being shown on teema at 9pm. a must-see for any electronic pop buff...

Saturday, January 23, 2010


tonight, the cats are out. i am dj'ing with miss lili and miia magia at loop for the club kissalaakso (kitty valley). the party is for girls, but boys are allowed in when accompanied by a lady. come dance!

here's my top 5 girls of the moment. (sorry, the clips are what they are...)

Friday, January 22, 2010

oops, i did it again.

last night was the opening of olav christopher jenssen's exhibition panorama at kiasma. the norwegian is known for his expressive colors and complex surface treatments. his gestural abstracts treaded lightly on the more somber tones and the emphasis was on pastels creating a feeling of abject, insular joy.

i do recommend going, if contemporary abstract painting strikes a favorable chord in yer heart. the collection of works is recent and surprisingly numerous. the art can be found on the fifth floor of the museum until 28 march 2010.

and speaking of attending events... i hesitated going to the opening because it was so cold out, but just fifteen minutes before decided to hop on the tram. incidentally, since i among a few others received a bitch-slap in the comment box of stella's blog for supposedly going underdressed to a party – the launch event of a blogger community called indiedays – i could not help but giggle and shoot a quick iphone pic of my outfit last night.

beanie and men's cardigan by cos, purple tank top by american apparel, cross pendant by antti asplund (from the goodie bag from indiedays launch – thank you ladies, i had a blast!), leopard print jeans by dr denim, boots by alexander wang, champagne by veuve clicquot.

the comment in question, "champagne and stretchy jersey just do not go together", raised some eyebrows here for the sheer absurdity of the implications. even a triple clarification on the type of party in question did not alter her judgment. sincerely, i do understand feeling critical of people for breaking the etiquette, but somehow it never occurred to me that the variety of drink offered at a party could determine whether or not your outfit was fitting. i mean, it really is out of the guest's hands what type of refreshments are being served, right?

although this time i was definitely underdressed, i feel incredibly blessed (for lack of a better word) to aver that in my life champagne and t-shirt jersey definitely do mesh. oh snap.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

flaws ahoy!

we all know that aesthetic perfection is boring. luckily it is also a state of virtual impossibility and even at the closest call, it falls back on subjective evaluation and is, thus, debatable. objective, all-inclusive perfection seems an oxymoron.

cohesion is as close to perfection visual stimulants can get, and it actually hasn't been long since we've been valuing aspirations for intentional faults instead of excellence. or, more accurately, our sense of sublimity has changed to include flaws.

we have grown familiar with aesthetic mistakes: american avantgarde film makers of 1950's and 60's , such as stan brakhage, "destroyed" their prints with strange substances. their signature glitches are a part of today's mainstream visuals visible everywhere from advertising to music videos.

the movement of the mid-90's took the style some steps further by creating art utilizing technical errors, such as computers crashing or visual distortion screenshots. one of my first awe-inspiring encounters with tech-glitches in mainstream online applications was the website for the movie requiem for a dream which still remains relevant as an example of creative web design although it dates back to 2000 and has been copied numerously.

(note to self: the reason it seems relevant is because you've been such a lazy schmuck that you haven't checked out any recent websites for films...)

an incongruous attitude is not limited to the visual imagery we are offered by arts. it seems flawlessness is read as staged and small glitches add a touch of reality and humanity. my personal style in both clothing and interior decoration has for years rested on creating a harmonious whole and then disturbing the cohesion with some elements that are "wrong". naturally, there is nothing spectacular or unique in my method, quite the opposite: it seems adding glitches is the style du jour.

then again, trends are a strange, ongoing process and seem to have revolved around themselves in fashion - probably due to faster cycles – and the most up to date styles are closing on attaining perfection again. whether it is ott bravado or minimalist, the obvious, intentional mistake (what a paradox!) is less prominent as an essential feature of a great look. it seems ok to sport a style flawlessly again. or is it just me, wearing all black all the time and thinking it must be a trend? oh, me smugness...

with interiors there's some lagging behind: the magazine look is very much still about combining good taste and ruining it with a touch of tackiness. that is, spicing things up with something that does not belong: a sleek modern environment disturbed with a rustic cabinet or a kitsch clock on the wall or, perhaps, a jolly old country house with a set of seethru kartell chairs – you know what i'm talking about, right?

since everyone concerned with interior trends tries to avoid copying the magazine appearance ('cause that's just lame), the logical addition of wrongdoings is catching up and balanced wholes of good and bad are taking over the slight failures to comply to aesthetic purity. we ain't far from sleek 80's black-white-chrome interiors without a hint of irony if my vision is right at all. judging by the past, i'm wrong which may not be such an awful prospect...

whether or not i am a slave to interior trends, without a doubt my perverse reverse snobbery applies to interiors in addition to clothing; if referred to or noted as "stylish" by the "wrong" people i feel the need to twitch and the same goes with my home. i want it slightly off and confusing.

but hee-haw, and why am i babbling about all this? well, i am in the midst of a decoration crisis. i got a wake-up call from my sweetie stating that our dining table lamp was looking "too retro". at first my reaction was "wtf? the beautiful yki nummi lamp from the 60's? never!", but soon i saw the point.

the thing is: you start collecting furniture and tend to feel the draw of certain styles. after a while the accumulation of stuff from various apartments starts to resemble a stage set mimicking the dreamy preference landscape of yer own brain – only it doesn't, but only exaggerates your primary penchants. needless to say, i do not believe a minute when people tell you that their collection of favorite pieces of furniture actually create a harmonious whole that does not look slightly too obvious. or maybe it's just me whose personal taste is so predictable.

in any case, some of our favorite pieces of furniture are starting to create ensembles that go overboard. the biggest problem is roundness and fluidity abundance (i love organic forms) which have inconspicuously taken over the place, and as much as i admire 70's spacey interiors, there's a point when things go too clockwork orange. below are the main pieces of our dining area – see what i mean?

it seems we lack straight angles in this apartment of curves galore, and have unintentionally turned our home toddler friendly. oh what a mess...

any ideas? haven you stumbled across stylish pendant lamps that are not a) retro and b) round that i should know about?

Friday, January 15, 2010

boys' day out.

things like this video make me happy. additionally, they make me ecstatic about living in helsinki: a city with talented people, beautiful urban scenery and lots and lots of great music. it's not the summer day that the video was shot or the great, familiar places they visit – although i'd be teflon coated if it had no effect on me – but the fact that it is so obvious the boys are having such a good time. there's nothing pretentious or staged here, but just sum simple feel good moments captured in film, directed by the multi-talented miika saksi.

and yes, feel good in audio, of course. another top billin group, helsinki 78-82 create party music you wanna listen to in your car, at your picnic, at the club – these are hedonistic anthems for leisurely times.

it also helps that one of my dear old friends is riding his bicycle there, smiling and guggling down beer... awwwww.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


admittedly it is very trendy to avoid visible logos. inconspicuous brand signifiers have become the most significant differentiating factor between trashy and stylish: a guaranteed method to be dubbed "new money" or "chav" – depending where you're located – is to wear flagrant brand names and big logos.

it all started with irony: cool kids wearing gucci tees were met up with tees hollering "f**k gucci" that the even cooler kids wore. the more the exclusivity market expanded and became less exclusive, the more the truly wealthy and in-the-know steered their interest towards brands with small recognition potential. as peer groups have become more selective and exclusive, the distinguishing markers have grown more and more subtle. simultaneously, the mass market follows lead and being able to recognize and name properly has become a mastered quality of the rare few.

it's been frequently claimed that the recession created a vacuum that sucked life out of luxury fashion houses: because people were losing their jobs, it suddenly became tacky to flaunt wealth. although there is some truth to the claim – designer stores offer brown paper bags instead of brand named ones – the repulsion directed at labelism was visible long before the economic downfall.

small, limited edition but almost unrecognizable brands were huge [sic!] already at the beginning of the millennium. they tailed such brands as maison martin margiela in creating their signature with a few visible stitches, cutout/ripped out labels or inverted seams – recognizable to a select group of connoisseurs. to be recognized as a member of a certain fashion elite became a complex interaction of having a detail, for example the tilted pocket or subtle hand-stitched r of rogan jeans, that could be visible to the masses, but would only receive an approving glance from the "right" people.

when labelism was deemed out in the mass market, it became more and more difficult to spot "fakes" and "imitations" from "originals"; there isn't a high street store where you cannot find a demeulemeester inspired cardigan these days. roughly speaking, copying designer lines has become a matter of copying signature cuts and tones and is slowly (or momentarily) taking over the misleading reinterpretations of logos.

i, personally, am a product strongly affected by the exclusivity niche: i grew up interacting and inspired by individual fashion people who wore the most incredible brands no-one had ever heard of and hunted for the most insane and limited color combinations for their sneakers. the ultimate joy was to have the appreciation of the other five people who were able to recognize what you wore. therefore, i grew up as a careful reader of nuances. in certain circles of fashion, i was definitely in the know, an active partaker and definitely enjoying it. otherwise, not so much.

the kind of snobbery involved had something very similar to car-tuning to it: original dust caps create awe in other car buffers but are hardly noted by anyone else. what differentiates it from regular girl-to-girl fashion policing is that the goal was to look pretty much as ordinary (or crazy extreme) as possible to someone unaware of what you were wearing whereas women often seem to evaluate the whole as (un)pretty, (not) classy, (not) trendy or (in)expensive and tend not to hide their assets. generally, that is of course. ours resembled an inside joke, albeit a more serious one, but just as dependent on being not-in-yer-face.

my relationship with brands is complex – admittedly it is very of our time to claim that i try to avoid visible logos. in other words i am somewhat a logophobe when it comes to easily recognizable double c's or checkered patterns, to name a couple. (fyi, my project chanel reward will be one without visible cc, in case you were wondering...) still i sport an ordinary black beanie with telltale four white stitches and i know certain people know exactly what it means. the ugly truth is, part of me is a label whore disguised.

the reason i started pondering this matter was my purchase before xmas: after upgrading my laptop to a large macbook pro, all my bags were suddenly too small. a need for a large holdall that could fit my daily essentials appeared. i chose a damier graphite bag from louis vuitton.

since i consider myself, despite my vanity, less than daft, i have to address the ridiculousness of an expensive bag. the pattern is recognizable but quite rare. nevertheless, louis vuitton does not exactly count as an insider joke.

i, however, love the pattern in this particular color. when it was introduced in lv's fall/winter 2008 collection for men, it swept me away like a tornado. i eagerly awaited for the line to arrive in finland and have, ever since, had my eye on the beauty i finally splurged on at their loyal customers' evening. champagne had a little something to do with the resolution, but a little intoxi-shopping has proven worthy in my books.

as far as finances go, i could argue that i have shopped significantly less than ever before this past year. i carefully considered the bag for several months before buying. nonetheless, the bag does scream louis vuitton, albeit rather silently. silent scream. yikes.

moreover, the bag is rather ordinary despite meeting my particular needs perfectly. i could try to squiggle out of this problem by stating that most of my designer buys have been exclusive of design over brand. i would not be lying, they definitely have been, and there haven't been acceptable knock-offs around. i am honestly an admirer of original designs and beautiful garments, such as my vivienne westwood coat. but the matter isn't as simple, really, now is it?

choosing a recognizable, expensive label and writing down what i am wearing in this blog somewhat contradicts my self-proclaimed ideal state of not providing information to those deemed "unworthy" – i should only care about the people who recognize the stuff themselves, right? nevertheless, it is as much a part of the vanity that is involved in choosing the beanie with white stitches instead of just some black beanie.

and vanity it is. the same vanity that lies behind buying a simple black acne cardigan instead of a no-name one. it is most obvious and brutally embarrassing with the most basic items of clothing. why choose an alexander wang tee over a flowing h&m tee? i know there are schools of consumer thought that stress investing in basics. these days their credo of quality does not hold since brand names do not secure quality. my aw stuff has piled more than many others.

don't get me wrong. i do not regret buying the bag, nor can i admit to buying anything solely because of a brand. i choose things because i like – or preferably love – them. nevertheless, if i am being completely honest here, the predominance of invisible labels on ordinary garments is a little too significant to be simply explained away.

the kind of weakness i associate with concealed brands creates something of a moral dilemma in me: am i a fashion lover or on the lookout for some narrowly defined peer acceptance? is there a difference? what is the pleasure i get from having the silent recognition of others like me? are they really like me? how truthful is my claim that i try to only choose garments based on their fabulousness and not the brand? is the fact that sometimes i'm hooked on a brand immoral?

what do you say?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


this is what i want from my next bday: cake, cake, cake! cake fight! exploding cake! airborne cake! cake facials! cake in hair! thankfully i've got kakkukeisari (i.e. the cake emperor) a block away... their stuff is fab. yummy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

hrrrrr and let's champagne.

although it appears as though complaining about the darkness of finnish winters is de rigueur, i am not going to write about wanting to wear color because it's so dark and gloomy or feeling uninspired because i just want to wrap myself in blankets and wait for spring when there is more light. to be honest, i do not mind darkness. at all, really. i do not get moody or depressed when wintertime darkens nor do i really care whether i can catch the few rays of light during those precious few hours of the day. i actually dislike light summer nights more than the darkness because i love walking amidst city lights. my inner vampire must be taking over...

the thing i do hate about winter is the temperature: i dislike the cold intensely and passionately. i do not find chirpy below zero weather refreshing and i never glee at the sight of snow. don't get me wrong, i can appreciate aesthetically the ice-covered treetops and the way branches bend from the pure weight of snow. nevertheless, visible snow equals cold in my books – thus, not a sight i marvel except from the comfort of my sofa.

thus, i avoid going outside as much as i can. this saturday i had to succumb to the realities of everyday life as i was preparing for a party. for the event itself i chose a tried and tested look – namely the same stuff i wore to my last little xmas party – but my day look provided more of a challenge. getting a present was top priority and i hit the streets with such vigor slower companions were left out of breath. i needed warmth and easy workable layers for those sweaty moments inside stores.

dedicated to my monochrome ways i attempted some layering. it does not come naturally to me, and therefore what you're seeing might appear blah to the nth extreme, but required some effort on my part. one's style mannerisms aren't easily changed...

bra by calvin klein, grey tank by american apparel, black tank by t by alexander wang, cardigan by marimekko, jeans by sass&bide, fur second hand, beanie by cos, scarf by vivienne westwood, bag by louis vuitton, boots by dr martens, bracelets by muji and absolut vodka (yup!).

the repetition of grey and black are what work for me here. the asymmetric wang tank top gets an instant boost from the grey tank underneath and the problematic skin revelation factor is toned down. i wore the tank in the summer with just a statement bra, but it hardly works during the day and the mere idea gives me the chills during winter. still, it pleases me to get some wear out of summery garments in the cold season.

with a fur coat one hardly needs many additional layers, but a wool cardi does the trick of warming up quite perfectly. add a beanie, boots and a large bag for all the shopping, and i was good go go.

i succeeded in getting a little something for silver's 27th bday and had a blast at the party sipping champagne amongst the beautiful people. since i attended sans camera, i must direct you to aurora's, petra's and piret's blogs to get a glimpse of the celebration.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

cossus snufsigalonica.

already out before xmas, i wanted to share this piece of dance bliss with those of you who have not yet stumbled into it. fear of tigers is the project of benjamin berry and his debut album titled cossus snufsigalonica (gotta love it, right!) has some amazingly beautiful pieces of electronic floorfillers.

the title song appears to use a (lyrical) sample from corona's "rhythm of the night" from 1993 combined to a very 80's pop background. all it's missing are bright lights and smiling faces on the dance floor around 3.20am...

go to fear of tigers myspace and download entire album for free!

Monday, January 4, 2010

my style blog list.

after browsing several blogs i noted the following cannots worthy of listing.

1. i cannot list outfits from last year because the ones pictured here are not representative in any way. a worthless bunch as a gallery of style evolvement or cohesion. i do not think i've evolved anyways.

2. i cannot list any resolutions for the new year since i have none.

3. i cannot list any sale items i yearn for or got because i have not checked out or shopped any sales. none. zip.

4. i cannot list any ideas about next spring since i have not browsed one single fashion magazine, show or website (outside of blogs where people seem to be already all about organza...) and do not feel like the freezing weather gives any reason to ponder spring. generally, i do not plan ahead to spring but just accept it as it comes, dressed as i happen to be. finding a new look for spring is a totally foreign idea to me.

5. i cannot list any style aspirations since currently my biggest concern is whether i should shave my head today or tomorrow. prolly tomorrow.

instead i'll post a song i've been listening to a lot lately by marina and the diamonds.

on admiration.

people often refer to themselves as fans of someone or something. part of being a fan is to be informed about the object in question, be it a person, a movement or what not, and (auto)biographies are popular methods of self-education. generally true admiration seems to require extensive knowledge of the subject.

i never liked (auto)biographies. many of them are poorly written and the writers motivation, be it praise or bashing, is often badly concealed. whether my object of fancy is a band, an artist or a thinker, i hardly ever wish to know anything beyond their work. it might be telling to explain that i usually do not recognize the singers of my favorite bands until i see them play live and, moreover, i find the personal lives of artists and authors uninteresting. therefore, it might be more accurate to say i am a fan of music, artworks or thought systems rather than the people who produce them.

in addition to lack of interest, my foremost reason for avoiding biographies is rather simple: i try to steer clear of the sort of psychological lure they inspire in people, including myself. although i can grasp the pleasure of "really understanding someone" after knowing their history and am just as prone as anyone to conduct analyses of random people over a hot cup of coffee, i knowingly try to avoid creating a sense of certainty over the motives and "true" rationales of other persons. as all biographies are already interpretations, the multiplication of internal logics are a sure method for creating incredible fables. and yet, somehow, people actually seem to think they know significantly more about a person after reading a biography. i find it somewhat self-delusional.

however, i do appreciate the potential personal narratives have for understanding human beings in general, and i do see how personal histories may explain certain actions or patterns. i just approach all non-fictional narratives very carefully and with suspicion because as often as we claim fiction ends, true fairytales seem to begin...

moreover, lately i have pondered how easily people are appalled by claims of admiring someone you disagree completely with. the small turmoil created by a finnish bb star when he stated he admired the sad, charismatic man who was responsible for the devastation we refer to as the second world war, made me realize that while people love creating categories by separation, they are hardly ever very subtle or original with them. if someone is deemed the evilest of all, then everything associated with him must be evil and, thus, not admirable. period. naturally, the bb star's blurt was dismissed as the brain fart of a simpleton, but it failed to conceal the fact that we find it hard to understand that veneration does not necessarily include agreement.

it may be that admiration strives predominantly from likemindedness; we revere people we wish we were like or consider kin. but there exist varieties of respect that require disassociation from the object and that reveal the fact that agreement is not in any way necessary for esteeming something or someone.

for example, i share with many of my friends the fascination for the slightly (or more) eccentric characters. as i watched grey gardens – the original documentary and the new hbo film – on new year's day, it was more than clear that my admiration for the beale women was detached from my own sense of self. in fact, the lunatic characters are incredible on many levels, but to think i share values or ideals with them is rather farfetched. admiration requires certain characteristics to develop from mere intrigue, but not an entirety of association. in regards to grey gardens, i admire their ability to sustain a sense of self-worth in the middle of chaotic circumstances.

after saying all of the above, i was surprised to find myself intrigued by a biography. described as probably the most wholesome of the many written so far, none other than a new biography of ayn rand created a desire to read about her background. familiar to me from my interest in women in philosophy, but better known as a fiction author, rand inspired ronald reagan among others and was the founder of objectivism, a realistic line of egoism in ethics, and, essentially, a true libertarian – although she would disagree. everything she taught and believed in i pretty much disagree with and think her objectivist credo is a bubble that already burst, but i find her compelling as a character with all the fanatic followers and discussion she still arouses and her sharp logic. thus, to say i admire her is not entirely wrong.

here she explains her political thought on television in 1959; part one.

part two and three of the interview.

since i can conduct analyses of myself without creating too much of logic buildup (although i may go haywire otherwise), i do suspect the reason behind my interest is trying to understand and, ultimately, explain away a belief system that contradicts my own so radically. i want to find trauma that could annihilate the reasoning behind rand's thinking – essentially an ad hominem against her – and, hence, seem to be lured into exactly what i have explicitly tried to avoid. therefore, it seems safer to continue debunking her theories with logic and leave her personal life alone.

since biographies are incredibly popular and if my worries are correct, there must be a vast amount of people out there who play the analyst on a regular basis. nevertheless, it is entirely possible – or even probable – that i am taking the common fascination way too seriously.

if you admire someone's work do you tend to find out as much as you can about them? if you are a fan of biographies, do you ever ponder the motives behind your interest? have you found your preconceptions strengthened or explained by biographies?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

new year.

happy new year everyone!

last year was eventful as i launched a completely new career in the spring which has forced me to grow and learn tremendously. dedicating my time these past months to impersonal self-improvement – nah, sounds too paradoxical... hmm... focusing on skills required by someone else than myself... better? yup. – stole precious moments of immersion into ideas and subject matters that grow from my own history. i learned to miss articulating the multitude of concerns i still harbor.

unfortunately, i also wandered off to areas that had very little to offer – namely other blogs – that diverted my focus from what i thought was interesting and worthwhile. therefore, i felt i lost my own voice in the blog.

needless to say, i have ideas i want to share and counted around three dozen drafts in my blogger archive. almost every single one feels relevant enough to finish, but requires some more thought and time. my mind has become more scattered than usual, and distractions hit me harder than before. although i am not sure whether my lack of dwelling on issues is something i should lament over, i do feel that creating meaningful content has become more arduous.

as far as the blog goes, i will avoid distractions and continue to do my best: i shall introduce you to great places, works of art in all forms and products, and will continue ranting on matters that move me any given time. most importantly, i want to continue with my neighborhood recommendations since there are a few y'all should know about. ultimately, you decide whether it is interesting enough or not.

i start the new decade intensely happy and content: the first reason is our new home where everything is finally starting to look almost orderly. secondly in trying to keep up with project chanel, i accept the importance of physical well-being. thirdly, i look forward to one of the most exciting gifts i received pre-xmas from my boss, that is, a rather significant promotion later in spring – gaining substantial trust in a novel field of work is a reward that keeps this energizer bunny running quite happily for another year.

i have read many of your postings on the past year and the one coming, and it seems most of us are looking forward to a great new decade. yay!

but right now this nerdy mousey is ready for some quality time with my sweetie, friends, a huge serving of hot nachos, red wine and a drilling machine...