Monday, 31 December 2012
After writing about the fashion and style of Stockholm, Sweden, a friend of mine asked me about Finnish fashion and style. I've been here in Finland so often, but realized that I never wrote anything about any of the things that I've seen, especially after spending the summer in Helsinki(love that city!!!!), so this will be the post that will cover that. Helsinki is the capital and the largest city in Finland and is located in the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, on the arm of the Baltic Sea (the Gulf Of Finland). Helsinki is 50 miles north of Tallinn, Estonia, 250 miles east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 190 miles west of St. Petersburg, Russia (I so wanna check out Moscow and St. Petersburg!!!). Helsinki was chosen as the World Design Capital for 2012, and was voted as the 8th best city to live in. Whenever I am out and about, I'm always checking out what people are wearing and their style. I'm always seeing some interesting things. In Stockholm, you see a lot of minimalist pieces with one piece that takes the attention, but in Helsinki, you can notice a couple of things that take the attention. They could be so opposite, yet they work in an interesting way. The Finnish, like the Swedes combine a touch of the traditional cold weather staples, but they always do it with a bold color. The Swedes may do it with black or blue denim, but the Finns take it there with a red or green jean and a really funky sneaker or shoe. All of the outerwear is very sports oriented, so there is a lot of techno fabrics and everything is worn in a street style. Here are a few examples of funky, Finnish street style. A lot of the pics were taken in warmer weather and I couldn't find much on Finnish street fashion at the moment of this writing.
Sunday, 30 December 2012
Having never been to Stockholm, I was eager to see the land which gave us ABBA, Ace Of Base, and the acting dynasty of the Skarsgards (Stellan and his 4 sons, Bill, Gustav, Alexander and Valter). I wanted to see how fashionable the Swedes are compared to the practicality fashion of the Germans, the printed and traditional fashion of the Finnish (yet with lots of Nordic and very Scandinavian touches), the eccentric and sometimes avant garde fashions of the British and the flashy designer-y and sometimes experimental, yet sporty fashions of the Americans. I also wanted to see what would inspire me in this beautiful city, full of art and culture. The boat docks in Stockholm and like an overeager child, I'm ready to get off of the boat and tear through the streets to see as much as I can as well as to check out the different ways the Swedes are dressing and how the stores there dictate what we see on the streets. I wanted to see how the Swedish take a trend and make it their own. Once off of the boat, the first thing I realize is that it is quite windy there. Snowy and icy, like Finland (it is winter after all), it is quite a beautiful city. Stockholm is the capital and the largest city in Sweden. It is also the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Founded in c 1250, Stockholm has been one of Sweden's cultural, media, political, and economic centers. I've always found Scandinavian fashion quite interesting, because in some cases the weather can be quite extreme (in winter, it can be very cold and there may be a lot of snow and ice), but the Scandinavians have a way of still having unique looks combined with the traditional styles of the country (traditional woolen sweaters, scarves, hats, socks, legwarmers, etc). One of the things that I can say that I've noticed and loved about the things I've seen fashion wise in Sweden (as well as most other places, even New York) is that you don't need a lot of money to be fashionable and stylish. You can mix designer pieces from the top brands (Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, D Squared, Diesel, etc.) with pieces from H&M, Bik Bok, and Weekday (all stores under the H&M umbrella) as well as with traditional woolen pieces and fur (faux, of course) and come up with a unique style that can be edgy or understated (that depends on the look you wanna go for). Understated is the main look in Sweden, but you can throw in a little edge and make it fun. These photos are from Stockholm Fashion Week. These dictate the current trend of minimalism with a slight edge, or something that I would consider the Stockholm Style.
Thursday, 22 November 2012
As much as the 70's gets made fun of and derided by many people, it did produce some interesting things, fashion and music wise. The music became more funky, more socially conscious and more sexually aware. Pride in all capacities were shown through and through. Discos were turning up everywhere, turning ordinary people into stars and fashion getting much more daring. Platform shoes, strappy and very high stilettos, glitter, sequins, beads, and colorful polyester that doesn't wrinkle and keeps you looking good, even though the fabric didn't breathe, so you would sweat like a whore in church. These are some of the things that define the disco era. The music would throb and the disco was the place to see and be seen. I get a lot of inspiration from the disco era, because I was child in the midst of it. I loved all of the easy glamour that disco provided. The clothes were sexy and comfortable. You can look good at any price point. It was all about fun!!! Now, it has come back in a big way in the Fall/Winter 2012 collections. Color, sequins, beading and easy, but fun glamour is on the menu, so dust off your Donna Summer records and pump it as the soundtrack when you are checking out these pieces.
Monday, 19 November 2012
Recently, I sat down and did some catching up on "RuPaul's Drag Race". Now, like any other designer, I LOVE DRAG QUEENS!!! The reason why? They are fearless and will take a chance on a look. They also can give you amazing ideas in unexpected ways. They exaggerate femininity, so their looks can be quite glamorous, (albeit overly glamorous) or quite humorous. It's all in a matter of taste and the queen executing said taste.
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
There are so many designers that I love and get inspiration from. Each designer has something that totally inspires me to take things to the next level, and some also teach me how to pull it back. This designer has been my FAVORITE designer for as long as I can remember. His name is Giorgio Armani. My love for Giorgio Armani came from the Richard Gere/Lauren Hutton movie "American Gigilo". Richard's character, Julian (a high paid escort) only wore the finest clothes and Armani was a staple in his closet. In the opening scene, Julian is taking shirts that are neatly folded out of a drawer and tosses them on the bed. The shirts are in pastel and neutral colors and inside of the collar, you see the Giorgio Armani label. I was really young when I saw that movie, but that image stays in my mind whenever I think of Giorgio Armani. This was a feat he did five years after starting his label. He not only made Julian fashion forward and start the trend of Italian dressing in the States, he also got a huge boost of sales from it because wives, and girlfriends wanted to dress their husbands or boyfriends like Julian in the movie, and to look like Julian, you had to get Armani.
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Anyone who rides a motorcycle knows that although Harley Davidson is the preferred motorcycle of choice, Belstaff is the preferred outerwear to ride that bike. I'm loving that this 88 year old company is stepping into the apparel market aggressively. It has always been a luxury leathers company and it still is, but now there will be a fashion side to go with it. With Ewan MacGregor wearing the jackets on his many motorcycle outings and in the advertising, you can bet that this company is making sure it hits all the marks.