Thursday, 31 May 2012

50s style parrot dress

My second dress is progressing while I am on holidays. Here is a short glimpse of it. I will work tomorrow more as I am planning a little garden party with friends on my return with German goodies. If you start wondering now, you have to wait a bit!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

"A Therapy" by Roman Polanski

As a fan of Roman Polanski's movies and fashion I just have to post this now!

"It's very refreshing to know that there are still places open to irony and wit and, for sure, Prada is one of them."
Roman Polanski

Thursday, 17 May 2012

designer portrait: Minna Parikka

Like all girls I have a passion for shoes and entering the boutique of Minna Parikka in Helsinki is like entering shoe heaven.
Minna's boutique and her pop-up store are located in the heart of Helsinki and her designs can be found in famous fashion magazines around the globe and on the feet of celebrities like Lady Gaga.

Minna Parikka in her boutique in Bulevardi 24, Helsinki
According to Minna Parikka herself, she knew already as a 15-year old teenager that shoe design was her life's true calling.
“I felt like I’d been struck by a lightning when I first realized 
I could actually make a career out of making shoes.”

shoe heaven,  model "Raquel" metallic
For Minna Parikka it was a paradox that the world of women’s shoe design is dominated by men and so she decided to change it. She went to England to study footwear design and traveled to London, Milan and Barcelona for work and inspirations. In 2005 she returned to her native Helsinki to launch the Minna Parikka brand. 
                                         "Pompom" peep toe
     "Melt" sandal

Minna Parikka’s love of footwear is based on the fact that shoes – unlike clothes – don’t have to be inhabited by a body in order to look attractive. And while beautiful on their own, it’s a magical moment when a woman steps into the right pair of shoes as they can change how she looks and feels.

accessories collection
One can sense her passion for shoes and that she is a shoe-lover, or more precisely a heel lover, herself as her designs combine girlish playfulness and femininity with elements of surrealism and contemporary design. Every shoe seems to be unique.
"My designs are almost like love letters from one high heel shoe lover to another. 
Allow yourself to be playful and let a pair lead you to new adventures. 
Life is too short to take style too seriously."

                              "Beak" mask
"Fox" mask

But Minna's creativity doesn't stop designing shoes, she has also a collection of gloves, bags and very special masks which are designed of shoe parts.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Finnish Design is about to conquer

One reason for me to move to Finland was the spark of creativity I felt when I was visiting Helsinki. The city is full of little design shops and some of them reached by now a world wide reputation with their label.

Dimonds, Stars and Revolver by Ivana Helsinki
One of my favorite clothes designer for example is Tiia Vanhatapio whose dresses are even worn by burlesque star Dita von Teese, Paola Suhonen has just recently opened an Ivana Helsink pop-up store in New York and even Lady Gaga wears Minna Parikka shoes...
So I guess it's time to introduce you to my favorite Finnish labels.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

vintage living - the 70s

By the late 1950s and early 1960s a new generation of designers felt increasingly detached from the 1920s and 1930s Modernist aesthetic that had become synonymous with the style of the successful multinational corporations of the day. In 1977 the American architect Charles Jencks published the book "The Language Of Post-Modern Architecture" in which he declared the death of Modernism, giving precise date and time and place of it coinciding with the destruction of a building complex of the 50s. 
In his eyes the Modernism has failed. But let's have a look at the developments.
armchair "Capitello" by Studio 65, 1972
At the beginning of the 70s the Historicism occurred again which was already sleeping under the surface in the 60s which the changing attitude in art and architecture. At the beginning a new interpretation of Art Nouveau and Art Déco took place and similar than in fashion a collecting spirit of art and design from the beginning of the century started. 
Under these influences the Postmodernity presented itself as a Modernism overlapped with historical and cultural references. Though the recourses could be quite bold and shrill like the example of the armchair "Capitello" shows. The design of Studio 65 is based on an Ionian capital transferred into furniture.
Thinking of reasons for this Historicism, the economic situation plays an important role as the whole world was suffering from recession and a lack of working places combined with high energy prices. The rescue into approved ideals seems to be a logic step.

"Safari" sofa by Archizoom
Shortly before the Postmodernity's breakthrough a short Italian intermezzo of Anti-Design  and Radical Design occurred, based on the idea that good design in times like these is simply impossible.
"Mies" chair and ottoman by Archizoom 1969
The Italian postmodern movements drew on the iconography of Hollywood  and Pop, marrying color, ornament, wit, kitsch and distortion of scale, all key ingredients in Postmodernism. It emerged already in the late 1960s and reacted against the doctrines of the Modern Movement. The Anti Design movement united various avant-garde groups whose product take a politically-motivated attitude against a more and more consumption-oriented society.

Quaderna table by Superstudio
The most important representatives of the groups are Archizoom (1966-74) with its founders Andrea Branzi, Paolo Deganello and the architecture group Superstudio with their famous product, the table, "Quaderna" (1970). It follows a minimalist, orthogonal design principle and is fitted with a plastic laminate with printed square pattern. 
furniture series "Up" by Gaetano Pesce, 1969 
Another important member of the Radical Design is Gaetano Pesce with his conceptual and anti-functional furniture series "Up".
armchair "Nobody's King" by Gaetano Pesce, 1970
_architecture classics
Another counterpart against the anti-design movement was the high-tech style with its functional and industrial looking design. Having a look at the architecture scene one finds similarities for example in the work of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers who completed the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1977.

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
The project was awarded with Rogers' winning the Pritzker Prize in 2007, The New York Times noted that the design of the Centre "turned the architecture world upside down" and that "Mr. Rogers earned a reputation as a high-tech iconoclast with the completion of the 1977 Pompidou Centre, with its exposed skeleton of brightly colored tubes for mechanical systems. The Pritzker jury said the Pompidou "revolutionized museums, transforming what had once been elite monuments into popular places of social and cultural exchange, woven into the heart of the city."

Monday, 14 May 2012

vintage living - the 60s

An era of provocation, revolution and extremes - in society, fashion and design. But let's start with the beginning of the decade which was rather calm and in continuity with the principles already established in the decade before. 
The well known clear lines were still dominating the design and some classics of the 50s needed one decade to become popular.

_architecture classics
One famous example for design and architecture is Room 606, a microcosm of the SAS House by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen designed for the Scandinavian Airlines System at the dawn of the jet age. Today the SAS House has been reduced to a shadow of its original condition, but on the sixth floor of the hotel tower, a single guest room remains in its original condition, with the built-in woodwork, furniture, custom fabrics and surfaces that Jacobsen created for the 275 rooms of the SAS Royal Hotel. The room unites architecture and design classics which are still in production today, because of their timeless clear design language which made Scandinavian Design famous around the world.

design classics: "Egg chair" and "Swan chair"
_fabrics and textiles
A sudden change should happen in the middle of the 60s. While everyone was looking at the United States for new trends, suddenly the design world changed its capital to London. The "new generation" took over and while the hair of the young guys became longer and longer, the skirts became shorter and shorter.

Optical Art by Bridget Riley
Also the art scene experienced changes and was basically dominated by two directions: Op and Pop. 
The Op movement was based around the painter Bridget Riley and her geometrical psychedelic paintings. The patterns also conquered homes in form of carpets, curtains and furniture textiles.
The other direction of the anti establishment movement in art was Pop based on a hippie culture trying to create new spaces by establishing things the Modern style tried to ban before. Icon of this movement is for example Andy Warhol, famous for his Marilyn Monroe prints.

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol
The Pop Culture with its two-dimensional graphics known from bolt posters and graphics, fabrics and colors, wild patterns and crazy perspectives conquered the design world. Fashion designers like Christian Dior and Mary Quant started to design their own home textile collections inspired by the new movement, though one of the most famous international textile producer is the Finnish company Marimekko with designers Maija Isola and Vuokko Nurmesniemi.

                            fabric "Kaivo" and "Unikko
by Maija Isola

But although England was the center of the new style movement, most of the high quality designs still came from abroad, like for example from Italy and Scandinavia. While the industry for synthetics was booming, designers like Joe Colombo, Verner Panton and Eero Aarnio created not just simple interior design but whole interior landscapes.

Ball Chair by Eero Aarnio
Interior Landscape by Verner Panton

The plastic material set the designers free to create every shape and use every color they wanted. This gave birth to objects oscillating between function and fun and it let designers dream of future living scenarios.

the creation of "Pony" by Eero Aarnio

For example the Finnish project of a round, prefabricated house called "Futuro" by Matti Suuronen. During the late 1960s and early 1970s fewer than 100 were built, but the distinctive flying saucer like shape and airplane hatch entrance has made the houses popular among collectors. 

Futuro no. 001 in Hirvensalmi in 1968
The design is a product of post-war Finland, reflecting the period's faith in technology, the conquering of space, unprecedented economic growth, and an increase in leisure time. 
It was designed by Suuronen as a ski cabin that would be “quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain.” The end result was a universally transportable home that had the ability to be mass replicated and situated in almost any environment.

Futuro interior
Today the finnish WeeGee Exhibition Centre has acquired the first ever mass-produced Futuro house (no. 001), which was owned by Matti Kuusla from summer 1968 to autumn 2011 and which was located in Hirvensalmi. After a careful resoratio, the Futuro is now again open to the public until the 16th of September 2012 as part of the Design Capital program of Helsinki.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Come to Finland!

I am going once again on a trip to the North and here is my postcard for you! For more motives have a look here!

Helge Mether-Borgström (1913–1996)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sonia Rykiel - with a hint of french charm through the spring

While I was rushing through the city, I saw this jumpsuit in a poison green variation in one of the shop windows and got curious!
Look 1
This terribly girlish piece of clothes is from Sonia by Sonia Rykiel's current spring/ summer collection. I found couple of nice styles for an elegant, girlish look with a hint of french flair.

Look 2
Look 3
Look 4
Look 5
Sonia by Sonia Rykiel is the second line of the family owned Rykiel imperium which was established in the early 1960s. My favorite pieces are from the holiday collection 2012.

Look 6
Look 7
Look 8
Look 9

I personally like the girlish elegance of the styles and the colors are just made for me: black, red and white.