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2015/06/22

Finnhits. Sauna, Marimekko And Hai Rubber Boots.

Finnish All Time Favorites. Sauna, Marimekko And Hai Rubber Boots.

Healing Holiday
For many Finns after Midsummer begins finally summer holiday time.  A typical Finnish spend their holidays at the cottage by the lake in the middle of nowhere. A cottage is a place where you can breathe a sigh and leave stress and hassle. The daily dose of healing green woods energy starts to affect right away when you step outside the cottage. Sauna belongs to Finnish cottage life all right. It’s best if you can take a dip into the lake from the heat of sauna.

What to do at the cottage
What else besides going to sauna people do in summer cottages? Simple things that are rare to do in city, like angling from the pier, rowing a boat, picking blueberries and mushroom, chopping wood, carrying water from the well, wash dishes by hand, making food with grill and eat outdoors (literally), throw darts, reading books under the tree, stare the life of ants, walk on wooden legs, read old magazines on the attic, carve wooden boats, laze on the dock watching the clouds passing by.

Favorite things
Marimekko is the clothing brand that has a strong pond to Finnish emotion. Like sauna is Finnish so is Marimekko. Therefor I decided to take something from Marimekko SS 2015 -collection to this illustration. This simple shirt dress made of linen would be my favorite summer dress. The beginning of this summer has been filled with rain showers so yellow HAI rubber boots completes the outfit. The umbrella I borrowed from Totoro, the anime charcter of my favorite animated movie.

Visit the Sauna in Helsinki
Frankly it’s not everybody running exited countryside when holidays dawn. Alone the idea of stinging bugs is too much for some. In that case in Helsinki it is possible to enjoy the pleasure of urban sauna in the city. Some with the possibility to swim on the sea. Website Visit Helsinki offers a good list of all the possibilities.

Personally I would like to try Kulttuurisauna. (Culturesauna) The website is a bit rough but I’m sure Kulttuurisauna is worth a visit.

2015/06/15

Seasons. Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015.

Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015

The day was a bit rainy and temperature +13 or so, but still there was a blast of Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015. People stood tightly packed along the streets witnessing the wonders that samba schools had prepared to show. For my part I absolutely love this happening. Samba is such a great antidote to everyday life.

In Finland there is not too many occasions to fool around with dress code. In samba carnaval the participants show shamelessly their bellies proudly presenting what they are and dancing their way through Helsinki Esplanade. What a joyful sight!


Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015

Lately at Finland media has aroused a discussion about the right to be what you want to be, without anybody to need to rise the eyebrows saying bitter insulting comments. It all started from a concerned mother FaceBook status. She opened up herself of being tired of hearing her four-year boy nominated girl just because he sometimes like to wear pink dress and his hobby is figure skating instead of playing ice hockey. And the commentators are adults. Sad.

It all ended up to #mekkohaaste in Finland. Guys posting pics in dress for support.

Therefore I was happy to spot at least two men dancing in skirts. One in reed skirt and another in kilt. How good they looked! And what is skirt anyway? It’s a shorts with only one leg. In samba parade even a cow skull can have a feather wig.


Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015.

Samba carnival is proud happy performance. The dancers enjoy showing itself and we the audience get a thrilling experience. So wonderful that it is nice to capture it in photos. Nowadays many times  there is this paradox that something wonderful is on the tray in front of us but we stare the wonders preshrunk through the camera lens.

Fact is that Helsinki Samba Carnaval Parade had only a few male dancing. Quickly estimated only 10% of the dancers are men. In Finland, there is a saying that the Finnish man doesn’t speak nor kiss. Sad to say but this reflects also to attitudes towards men and dance. I suppose that in Rio Samba Carnaval this matter doesn’t exist.


Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015.

The themes of the carnival schools other reflect some topical issue at the moment. A punk band PKN (Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät) was Finnish representative of the Eurovision Song Contest this spring. Punk is on the air so Helsinki Samba School Imperio do Papagaio had punk as a theme this year. Innovative costumes like iroquois made of colorful plastic straws. We saw biker jacket theme in drum batteria collars and single dancers too.


Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015.

One of the themes was birds. These shy young birds had just hatched in the nest.

Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015. Paradise Bird Dancer.

The neon color trend was seen in many cases in decoration and costumes. Perhaps this bird of paradise was the most neon creature in the parade.


Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2015. Sleeping Child.

Many kids on the audience had earmuffs to endure the loud music that comes with the samba parade. Despite the loud clack, drumming, playing and singing this sweetie couldn’t resist the invite to fall sleep.

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Thank you all Samba Schools for a wonderful show and inspiration! This was 4th time in a row in Flash For Zonzon to make illustrations of happening. If you like to check it all you can click the tag samba.

2015/06/01

One Day. Oystercatcher On the Lawn, Lauttasaari, Helsinki.

Oystercatcher On the Lawn, papercut

One day when I was on my way home I walked past a green grass lawn where bright yellow dandelions blossomed. There was one single oystercatcher searching for worms. Such a beautiful graphic sight. I love these birds, handsome and humorous, always busy in finding daily meal. Oystercatcher usually like to hang around seaside but maybe this bird preferred a more colorful environment for a change.

May this be a beginning of a summer season. Kids are out of school for ten weeks holiday. Nature blossoms and the warmth will come for sure (some day). Let’s all enjoy this season with all good that will come. It’s time to move on to the sunny side.

Just one reminder. Next weekend it’s already time to celebrate Helsinki Samba Carnival. I am pretty sure that I will do a report about the happening also this year.

2015/05/26

On the Street. Rebellious Biker Jacket, Kamppi, Helsinki.

Street Style Helsinki. Bicker Jacket.

Biker Jacket is such a classic that keep one’s ground from decade after decade. The first milestone was probably marked by Marlon Brando, who performed a motorcycle gang leader in film The Wild One 1953. After that a biker jacket made of black leather has been synonym to restless rebel -attitude.

Punk is not too common style in Helsinki everyday street scene. So this young lady was a nice exception with her extra carefully drawn eye makeup. A biker jacket, symbol of rebellious mind is well suited to the picture.

I did a tour on kids clothing stores past weekend. In one shop there was biker jackets for kids. Later on I saw approximately four year old girl who wore that particular biker jacket. Well, kid are rebels, they have rebellious mind. With kids at some points it is time to oppose most anything that parents propose.

Another spotting of biker jacket was in Finnish magazine cover Apu (”Help” in English). A Finnish singer Jari Sillanpää posed on cover dressed in biker jacket. The headline was like ”Festival Year of Music Agitator Jari Sillanpää in Fifties”. So the biker jacket works as symbol of live spirit in middle-age.

Conclusion. From childhood  to teenage and middle age, classic biker jacket fits any person who wants to express some rebellious vibes with clothing.

2015/05/20

On the Street. Two Pony Tails, Kamppi, Helsinki.

Street Style Helsinki. Two Pony Tails.

This lady rushed towards me on Narinkka Marketplace. Apparently hurrying to get in bus in time. The long fluffy pony tails flied wild on the sides of her head. A braided owl-pattern on her tote bag complements the style perfectly.

2015/05/15

On the Street. Graphic Style, Kaapelifactory, Helsinki.

Street Style Helsinki. Graphic style.

Minimalist black and white outfit to which is added graphic patterns on like shawl, tote bag and skirt. Calm and eye pleasing sight. And still a hint of yellow peeking under the black coat. Refreshing like spring itself. And a matching grey tone comes from asphalt of the streets.

2015/05/09

Finnhits. gTIE Attitude Neckwear.

gTIE Jack the Noble Pirate Neckwear

Jenni Ahtiainen, the designer of gTIE is out of the box -thinker. Now it’s time to introduce her brand gTIE in the series of pearls of Finnish Design brand aka Finnhits.

gTIE offers an alternative to people who feel the traditional tie is so seen and boring. It is a brand for people who prefer to be a bit original. gTIE offers innovative neckwear and accessories for men and women. Materials are silk, leather and silver. The attitude is slightly rock and definitely alternative.

She’s won many friends for her design among the celebrities. Her designs have been at the Golden Globes, Oscars, American Music Awards and Eurovision Song Contest.

gTIE Shop Lamp

gTIE Jakob and Tom bowties

gTIE Morgan Leather Scarf

The products are manufactured in Finland homeland territory. The materials are used effectively to the last scrap. Craftsmanship is close to Jenni’s heart despite the design nature of her brand. She is definitely the one that is not contented just thinking of doing. I her own words: I will go down in history as the woman who revolutionized neckwear.

gTIE Shop Details

I visited the gTIE shop. It is decorated with all kinds of antique lamps, mirrors, chairs, clocks. Craftsmanship is important part of the space itself. I was told that the origin of the stuff was her mothers antique shop. And really, when I think of gTIE products it has kind of historical aspect although it same time feels modern. If the surroundings in the childhood has been filled with antique furniture, it must have had some influence to the esthetics Jenni is after in these days.

gTIE Jenna Scarf made of leather strap

The lady in the first illustration is actually street style. I met her in Old Students House in Helsinki and was absolutely thrilled about the style she had drawn her eyebrows high on the forehead. White and pale as valkyrie and dressed in black. And truly, she had the gTIE Jack the Noble Pirate around her neck.

Here we come to the end of this fan post.
Now if you'd like to find out more about gTIE click your way to gTIE website and webshop .
gTIE store in Helsinki you can find at Unioninkatu 27.

2015/05/02

On the Street. Neon Sneakers, Sello, Espoo.

Street Style. Neon Sneakers.

Neon colors seem to be hip and pop in sportswear right now. Yesterday while walking around town I did a test. And really it is not only in sports stuff, but once in a while there was some neon color in sight. Shoelaces, handbags, a zipper in a hoodie, purse, headphones, a neon print on a tote bag.

This fellow I saw in Sello shopping center. Otherwise dressed in dark colors, so the neon pink sneakers popped up like last ray of sunshine before night falls. Another interesting thing was the long hem shirt. Let’s see if that is the next cool thing on summer.

2015/04/30

Seasons. Happy First of May Carnival.

Seasons. Happy First of May Carnival.

First of May (Vappu in Finnish) is the only day in a year that has something to do with carnival spirit in Finland. The fun begins already tonight. In addition to first of May, whimsy costumes usually belong to bachelor party or some student happenings. Otherwise the living in this corner of world is quite lame if we talk about having fun with clothes. It’s a bit sad. Dressing up to something else than usual could be refreshing. We have a lot to learn from Japanese harajuku- and cosplay-culture.

A week ago I saw a quick glimpse of three giant wigs. Yellow, pink and green. Apparently this sight belonged to the category student happening. Okay, the wigs I have really seen and the rest is product of imagination. Towards summer we go. Have fun all of you!

2015/04/27

On the Street. Dog Walking Vest, Ruoholahti, Helsinki.


I love plaid fabrics. From the bus window I spotted an interesting sight. Long cloak-like garment in plaid on the girl who was walking the dog. It looked like a plaid blanket in the form of long vest. But instead of being a blanket, there were handy zipper pockets for all the essentials needed on the dog walk. Like the dog treats, dog poop bag, telephone for selfies…

I’m not a dog owner and haven’t had a dog neither. But an outer clothing like this could be really handy. Convenient enough pull it on over everyday jacket. Like leather jacket in this case. Street credible nice form and function. Ready to serve a dog owner’s new adventures.