Monday, 31 December 2012

Finnish Fashion & Style: Another Look in Scandinavia

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.
Getting back to the prints, (Finland is the home of the printed fabric) they are never screaming at you. They are quite wild, but not so much where it's overpoweing. The Finns combine this very well with the basics, but they also include interesting hairstyles and makeup, which take their looks to the next level. Asymetric and colored hair are a couple of the many trends that you will see here. You would believe that you are living in a community of artists here, because everyone does their own individual style. Some rock the heavy metal looks of the 80's with a touch of today. Others are rocking the sharp hipster look that is big everywhere in the world and is also made fun of in the States (skinny jean, boots, glasses). To me the styles between Stockholm and Helsinki are like night and day where Stockholm is like the business day look and Helsinki are the party animals of the night. If you ever get the chance to stroll through Helsinki during the summer or even in the winter, go for it and check out the people. You can show off your great sense of style with not a lot of money here as well. H&M, Kapp Ahl, and Gina Tricot are great places to get great pieces that are not as expensive, but showcase a lot of style. For guys, Dressman and H&M are perfect for sharp looks without spending a ton of cash. Marimekko and Eurokangas is great for printed fabric, if you're creative and willing to make your own pieces. Check them out. I always do!!! Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Stockholm: Fashion and Style Of One Part of Scandinavia

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.
Going through the fashion magazines in Sweden(my favorite is Bon Magazine), I see an explosion of different things. On one end, I see a lot of science fiction and fantasy inspired pieces, pieces full of drama and have a sense of romanticism to them (they're in the current issue of DVMode-Winter 2012 issue). Here is the cover and one pic that I was able to get to describe the looks.
I couldn't get any looks from my favorite Swedish fashion magazine "Bon", but here is the website to check out not only the current issue, but other articles as well( They are all in Swedish, but I love a lot of the pictures and they are pretty inspirational. I have to figure out a way to get a printed copy of the magazine every now and then. I'll have to shake down one of my favorite magazine stores and see if they will have it. I hope to make a trip back to Stockholm in the spring/summer to see some more fashion and check out some of the fabric stores. I'm also gonna try and get Sweden into the schedule to check out the fashion weeks. We will see. As I close this post, I'd like to take this time out(because I may be too drunk tomorrow to do it) to wish all of those that are following me and those who are just checking me out a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!! Eat heartily, drink merrily, dance crazily and look sexy and fashionable!!! Take me with you in spirit and get my spirit home safely. Take care of yourselves and each other!!!! Stay fashionable and sexy!!!