Monday, February 28, 2011


last weekend i browsed through my bookmarks and found a note from last year: "ghost in the machine". my philosophy background had me thinking i had marked it because of some cartesian point, but i was pleasantly surprised to stumble into erika iris simmons' homepage.

the young artist takes discarded materials and turns them into art. built from old cassette tapes and film reels she describes her series as being
inspired by some strange ideas. how at one level we are cellular beings and another we are a single “self.” the single cassette tape i thought of as representing the mind. the tape ribbon represents our thoughts, the data within. taking that data – those bits of memory – and rearranging them to form what we see as a face is my way of finding a “ghost in the machine.”

whether the idea of a divided self strikes you as plausible or not, her works remind us of human beings being able to leave a mark that endures through their influence on other people. whether you'd call it a soul that lingers or just a collective memory and appreciation, the phenomenon is definitely something appealing.

all pics from iri5 flickr stream. there's plenty more.

i wouldn't mind having a robert on my wall. now where's my disintegration tape...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

oh, danny boy.

it is not once that i hear friends with children complain about the troubles associate with finding clothes for their kids. the usual pastels divided into girls' and boys' feel unpleasant for parents who would never express their own gender stereotypically. there are options for classic style, but prices are often mindblowingly high, and sometimes dressing kids in miniature adult wear does not feel proper either. online stores provide some help for those parents who have the time and money to browse.

if you've got good credit, tiia vanhatapio bebes is an adorable collection for small babies and marimekko still continues in the spirit of the 70's in offering cute separates that are partly unisex. although the latter are not incredibly expensive, they are way above high street pricing and quite honestly do not stand out quality or stylewise from the crowd – for some of my style-savvy friends, that is.

daniel palillo and his humorous take on design comes to aid. he has released a line of kid clothing for aw11 which pleases the eye of even those urban parents who have found daniel's clothing a little too much for themselves. most of the collection is simple and functional, all of it cleverly playful, and the simple black, white and red selection follows the aesthetic familiar from daniel's signature style.

the line is still looking for retailers, but i can just about see a bunch of little palillo humans running around my neighborhood.

if you've got kids, would you dress them in these?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


i have not disappeared from the face of this earth. nor did i catch life-threatening pneumonia as a result of my hesitation to see the doctor.

i started a new job a week ago.

i am thrilled to say i will be taking part in a transformational project that affects my immediate surroundings as a citizen of the finnish capital, but which will also have a global influence. we're in it to do good, to embetter our living environment, and i have a unique opportunity to share my greatest passion through my work.

do i sound excited? you betcha i am.

i am also a little pressed with time for these first weeks. i promise to update as frequently as humanly possible, though.

thus, i must dash and leave you with pictures from french artist leo caillard whose project art game from december 2010 examines the way our current tools of interaction with reality affect profoundly, for example, our art experience.

all pics from leo caillard.

for the next two years i will be doing my modest part in embedding design in life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

therapeutic threesome.

i fell ill in the middle of last week. there is never a convenient time to get sick, but this one was particularly horrible: i had promised to help in the organization of one event and had put together a fundraiser myself. as much as i wanted to wrap myself in blankets and shun the rest of the world, i had to be out and about till late at night.

i heard at the finlandia party that i was glowing. fever. that'll do it.

finally on saturday i was allowed to stop, snuggle up on the sofa in my missoni bathrobe and start focusing on healing. on monday i went to the doctor to find out that i had the influenza and was crazy to keep on going last week.

well, shucks, i had no idea i was that sick.

still coughing, i feel today that life might just about get better.

my threesome necessary for recovery comes from pukka teas. organic herbal infusions combine my favorite elements: mints, gingers and soothing flowers.

i start the day with three mint, warm my aching body with three ginger and before bed, to help sleep, infuse a cup of night time.

i love the packaging and the fact that i can fetch my supply from around the corner at sis.deli. although tea aficionados might claim that bagged tea is as evil as instant coffee, i must admit to finding these sufficiently flavorful for my needs.

time to get some more rest, then. next week another adventure begins...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

can perfection be redesigned?

last thursday i was one of the few lucky finns to attend the launch of the all new finlandia vodka bottle. a crowd of a few hundred international guests gathered to greet new design and to finish a week of finlandia vodka cup, an annual bartenders' competition held in lapland.

the contents are still the same, but the look of the bottle went sleeker and more polished. moreover, the battling reindeer logo is back and will replace the running herd.

it pleases me to say that the american-owned brand still focuses on finnish talent: the new video was produced by komia with music from lcmdf, the bottle design is a collaboration with harri koskinen (as was the last one) and continues the tradition started by tapio wirkkala. the contents of each and every bottle come from single origin, that is, rajamäki finland, which is quite rare in these times of bulk vodka.

the old rail yard of pasila was transformed to an all white, icy world of vodka. entertainment was provided by axl smith and dj 3rrd and by a bunch of bartenders from all over the world, such as the soul shakers, setting things on fire(!) and building cocktails. food-pairing was created in collaboration with fat tomato catering.

here's a pictorial recap:

the space with several bars and klaus haapaniemi prints.

the new bottle.
dj 3rrd and axl smith freestylin'.
bottles of fire.
a bunch of bloggers: mv, me, silver and petra.

i'm wearing a jacket by alexander wang, leather bustier dress by theory, leather necklace by cos, wolford tights, wedges by camilla skovgaard and a louis vuitton clutch.
designer harri koskinen and yours truly (with seriously flattened hair... oh, the dismay of growing a mane).

all pics by paavo lehtonen, courtesy of finlandia.

the new bottle will be out later in the spring. until then, vodka from above will be available in its usual format. keep your judgement pure and drink responsibly.

Monday, February 7, 2011

love token.

i hardly use my blog as a wish list. i tend not to want many things and when i do, i have a habit of forgetting them unless i succumb to my desire instantly. my way of being is very much in the moment and i tend to harbor fairly few plans for the future which is obvious in my inability to think about, for example, fashion of the coming seasons. hence, creating lists of fleeting wants or needs seems rather futile and artificial.

i live in the now.

sometimes i surprise myself, though. that is, i give into uttering a wish. sometimes i am surprised by loved ones who read my wishes and follow them.

this time i voiced my wish at another location. and it still actualized on our third anniversary.

my token of love.

customizable jewelry from ideapaju.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

malmen makeover.

i have a special relationship with hotel scandic malmen. although i visit stockholm irregularly, for the entire c21 my location of choice has been medborgarplatsen and the big hotel right in the epicenter of södermalm.

it was never the swankiest establishment, but an easily accessible and affordable choice. in the early 2000's my friends and i had the habit of hopping on the boat just to see a band and with people's differing financial statuses it was easiest to book rooms where everyone could afford one. even though i otherwise prefer small, design savvy hotels, it would be fair to say malmen had other perks.

as long as i can remember, the corridors and elevators of malmen have provided encounters worthy of namedropping to the point of nausea. the place enjoys a surprising status as the official rock cradle and bands from all over the world have chosen it as their temporary resting place.

warning: an abundance of indie-infused namedroplets about to follow.

i have shared the elevator with the members of interpol. not once, but twice. i slept on the sofas by the entrance with some members of the strokes. i waited to check out behind block party's kele followed by the singer from the secret machines. i hugged beth ditto outside one summery night and tried to lure her to mcdonald's with me only to witness her being adviced otherwise by css's lovefoxx. i had breakfast with erlend øye who just happened to walk in (although i did know him from before). there were others that i vaguely recognized and many that i didn't.

whoa, that was ostentatious.

if we ever considered not staying at malmen when visiting sweden for a gig, it was never voiced out loud. it was the place to be if you had a drop of indie stalker in ya.

a bit over a week ago i stayed there again. this time courtesy of visit sweden, i had the opportunity to meet the hotel manager and hear about her work in creating the new malmen. after my last visit the place had seriously changed and i was eager to find out where they were headed.

they had renovated the rooms and the public areas. what used to be a basic hotel restaurant was turned into a colorful hub for people to meet and party. as the most thrilling surprise i realized that they had taken their popularity with music people seriously, and opened den lilla hotelbaren, a small venue for up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent.

detail from the restaurant. both photos courtesy of scandic malmen.

they had done something right: our room was cosy and the hotel was full of life until the wee hours. it truly seemed a regular stockholmer would consider opting for a hotel for a night out – something that i've only seen happen in nyc before this.

our room.

what remains are the affordable prices and the perfect location. the only thing i miss are the large sofas by the reception desk – there are never too many places for great naps. with the strokes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

hel yes.

wirkkala champagne flutes.

last wednesday night we enjoyed a meal at hel yes. we had booked the much coveted seats early, but felt fortunate to have a very unexpected additional reason to celebrate.

more about that later, my dears.

the pop-up restaurant itself was located in an old warehouse at the outskirts of town – there was a handpainted sign guiding the way, but from the outside only a string of lights revealed that something out of the ordinary was going on. as an urbanite with a partiality towards rough and rugged surroundings, i instantly loved the location.

the large dimly lit room was decorated with assorted furniture from finnish designers and everyone was seated at communal tables. the tableware was also mismatched creating a homely bohemian feel. klaus haapaniemi's amazing folklore-inspired blankets hovered tent-like over some tables, ours had an arch of birch creating our own micro-sanctuary of repast.

the leg of a lamb served from communal plates was gnawed clean...

the atmosphere was excited and expectations were high. perhaps a little too up there as the porcini mushrooms in my lasagna proved. the food was tasty, but not spectacular. nevertheless, the location and the buzz compensated nicely, and ultimately i found myself returning to my thoughts about guerilla stores and the impulses they create.

luckily, the champagne, organic beer from lapin kulta and the dessert wine were exactly what i needed, and we left very satisfied.

the reason we rushed out soon after finishing the dessert were tickets to see the hurts. we made it to the club exactly when the guys stepped on stage. i could not have been surprised more pleasantly when i heard my favorite kylie song cover.

a hel of a good night.

i will follow lykke.

i wasn't entirely sure lykke li's "get some" was going the right direction for me, but the second single from her forthcoming album, wounded rhymes, has more promise. lovely video, too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

offbeat beauty.

flaneuring the streets of new york city or los angeles offers an incomparable insight into human form. these cornucopias of style challenge beliefs of stability and clarity of beauty and gender if one ever held any. there is such freedom of expression that stems from an imperative to manifest oneself as one feels right in addition to the visible results of hedonism and desperate longing for conformism.

katy grannan records people in the streets and at their homes. she caresses the eccentric and unorthodox, and lets the stance of suspicion, pride and fragile strength of marginalized surface show in her subjects' eyes.

vulnerable, unorthodox and beautiful.

pics 1, 2, 5 and 6 from the series boulevard, pics 3, 4 and 7 from the series westerns, pics 8, 9 and 10 from the series mystic lake. katy grannan is represented by the fraenkel gallery.

outrageous outings is finally on facebook. it's ok to like.