Wonder Woman has been one of my role models for long time. I haven’t seen any films, nor read any comics about her. Only seen some random photographs about the character. And felt strange sisterhood with her. In a situation with hands tied and otherwise bound by chains Wonder Woman has that kind of blink in her eyes that tells us: just wait a sec that I solve this out. Wonder Woman represents fearless and inventive attitude.
Many times when I have been in front of an exiting situation, like important meeting or speaking in public, the calming method has been thinking that I am Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman that handles any situation just like that. And it really has helped a lot. In that mood it is possible to forget the nervousness and just go and do it whatever you have to do.
Because of this earlier relationship with Wonder Woman I was double thrilled when I found an article by James Clear about Wonder Woman Pose. You know, steady pose, put your hands on your hips, keep your chin up, and chest out. The article claims that standing in a Wonder Woman Pose for two minutes in a day is a strategy that reduce anxiety, improve the ability to deal with stress and boost confidence.
This text of mine is just a scratch of the surface. The idea is described profoundly on the article if you’d like to know more.
It is worth watching Amy Cuddy’s 20-minute TED Talk about the impact of body language. You can find this at the end of the article. In Amy Cuddy’s words:
Our bodies change our minds
… and our minds change our behaviour
… and our behaviour changes our outcomes.
This sounds like a good deal to any person.
Maybe next time you take a private two minutes Wonder Woman Pose in a bathroom just before the job interview or other social threat. That way it is lot easier to shine in the situation.
Wonder Woman Pose also works fine as a daily meditation. The only problem has been to take a new way to practice. Even if it is just two minutes in a day I haven’t been able to make it to a habit in my life.
Maybe I should attach a post-it note to the toilet mirror to remind of the precious daily two-minute-stand-by-moment.
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You remember? FlashForZonzon is illustrated blog about fashion, street style, interesting surroundings, patterns and more. Well, this post doesn't seem to suit in any labels used before. Therefor this post needs a new label "more".
6.12. was Finland’s Independence Day and the day to watch television. Why? Because of the Castle Ball that is held at the Presidential Palace. On television they send a direct broadcast from the Palace. The best part of the show is to watch the evening gowns. I did some sketching while watching.
Few weeks ago I visited Emma, Espoo Museum of Modern Art. There is a nice little exhibition of Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) going on. Vasarely is the guy who was a pioneer of optical art. His artwork has influenced strongly to fashion of 60’s.
Even in today we can see some echoes of that period. Valentino FF 2014 is a lovely sample of this. The fantastic patterns really get noticed.
If you are heading to Emma and Vasarely as well, I recommend to look at the documentary films also. That certainly gives some more value to the exhibition experience.
At some point Vasarely was very systematic while planning his artwork. He had some 15 different shapes, with which he was able to create endlessly number of new artworks. He made the models in small scale at his desk and the assistants painted the final huge paintings. Vasarely had the design roots in Bauhaus. So the mass production was a natural choice to him. He pointed the idea that art belongs to people.
It was funny how the surroundings of city of Helsinki started look like pure Vasarely after the experience. The big office buildings with glass walls with thousand little square windows reflecting the light are so Vasarely.
Vasarely actually dreamed of cities that would have been covered with his artwork. Large scale. One huge house wall, one huge circle in the center. Next huge wall, next huge circle. And the same course like the whole city. Not a bad dreamer, I think.
The official artist website of Victor Vasarely you can find here:
It’s time to dig warm scarves and beanies from the storage against the November creeping coldness. And wind. And did I mention darkness? Yes, there is also darkness. And against darkness we would better have a pedestrian safety reflector in the interests of keeping alive in traffic. It really has saved lives. And for our mind’s sake using colorful accessories may be a good thing to cheer up. At least I was delighted to see this bold colored twin set of scarf and beanie.
If you are seeking for more ideas to avoid dark day melancholy, you may click your way to 2012 November post: November Blue Love Poem. There is some remedy for this darkness.
I love pea coat. The uniform of Corto Maltese, my hero. Traditionally it is dark blue, but grey is a good option. A pea coat is perfect to wear in November, when the frost has not yet bitten our noses. And note how the beanie is set. Hip and pop in Helsinki right now. With this I am referring to the previous post.
Autumn is in a hurry to the point that the trees are beginning to be pale and leafless. The color palette of the nature becomes narrower. Sun sets early and grey tones dominate. It seems that the scenery on the street goes hand in hand with the nature. People rely on black and dark colors.
When there is not so much detail in respect of color, attention is drawn to the form. I found this man’s silhouette interesting. Small noddle, wide box coat and legs like narrow sticks. And of course I love all time classic duffle coat. It is just perfect coat for becoming November. By the way, it seems that now the right way to wear beanie in Helsinki is just like here; leaving the forehead bare.
This lady caught my eye with her monochromatic outfit. Tones from pure white to black and all the different shades of grey in between. The asphalt and the foundation of the house accompanied the harmony. Having a monochromatic outfit ready in your closet is a good idea for many occasions.
A man who wears patent leather shoes during daytime goes inevitably in a dandy-category. At least if the rest of the outfit has some tones of arrogance and attitude. In Finland this kind of style is used maybe 1 % of the male population.
Skinny legs, like in this illustration, can be serious thing to some men. Once I was going to draw a live model class. There was a hard frost, -15 degrees Celsius, and no sensible person walked outdoors without long underwear, hat and mittens. The class was held in Suomenlinna fortress area. The marine environment with it's wind can make the cold even colder. Brrr.
When it was time to start drawing, our male model undressed. When it was the turn of the tight black jeans, to my horror, I noticed that he really didn't have the long johns under the pants. Oh dear, HOW do you manage out there without freezing to death? The answer was practical: "I appreciate my legs so much that I do not want to ruin their shape using long johns under my jeans."
How arrogant! I was sold.
The soft – apparently woolen – straw-colored scarf with large spots turned my head. You know how weak I am all sorts dots with. The color combination of the outfit is perfect. Not too typical one could say. Somehow there is some oriental 20's vibe in this look, despite the elements are simple.
I saw this oh so sweet young couple in a restaurant in Töölö, while I attended my friend's 50-year anniversary party. Looking at a lovely couple like this is like magic. It makes you think – sorrows, what are they, is it something eatable?
I encountered this older lady on the way to the library. Mixing different patterns is one style I truly like. She sure knows how to do it. Stripes, plaid, delicate lines, polka dots, rhythmic short lines all goes in peace and harmony. If you stick in limited range of colors (black and white in this case), the pattern mix is easier to succeed for sure.
There has been a little blog silence around here Flash For Zonzon because of summer vacation. This time I took a total break of electronic devices and even the Internet. Quite relaxing experience, by the way. The method was an old school round trip with car in my home country Finland (and a bit in Norway too). Starting from Helsinki to the shores of arctic Ocean and back again along the west coast.
I was curious and ready to see if there was anything to see in the field of street style in the rest of the country than Helsinki. But believe me, the fells of Lapland didn't have much to offer in this respect. The reindeer looks like reindeer. Only on the road you could see some tribal dress codes like motorcyclists in their black leather uniforms.
What do you pack for a trip like this? The answer is as little as possible. Besides toothbrush and sunhat the next most important thing was a black square scarf. And now I will tell you how handy piece of accessory it is.
This scarf of mine is a fair-sized (100 cm x 100 cm) made of lightweight black cotton. When traveling by car in summer there is always air condition on. And in T-shirt there is a good possibility to get cold despite the fact that the outside is 25 degrees hot. The cool wind blowing like that. Ooh la-la, the scarf wrapped around the neck will save from this misery.
In northern Finland there is one minus in summertime. And that is the armies of mosquitoes and other biting little insects that are attacking once you put your head outside. They can be very annoying when trying to set up a tent at the end of the day. But with the square scarf there is no trouble. Just wrap the scarf around your head and you are safe.
When wardrobe consists of T-shirts only it is possible to alter a look with the help of the scarf. Fold a square scarf looking like belt. Like this you can get a nice waistline for a change.
Then again in a trip like this the shower is not always right next to you. So it is nice to be able to forget the hair totally. The method is to fold the scarf to turban-like thing. Hide your hair in a turban. This way you get a nice bow tie on the top.
The nights are very luminous in summertime in Finland. When sleeping in a tent it can be a bit difficult to get sleep in the evening. In that point you can count on your black lightweight scarf again. Just cover your eyes lightly with the black scarf and you are already sleeping. First I did the trick to kids and then myself. Good nighty-night.
Disclaimer. I bought this multi-function black scarf from Varusteleka for 4 euros or so and it is worth every cent.
I have encountered this older gentleman on the street about ten times during the last few months. Every single time he has the same uniform, jeans and a denim shirt with a short vizor cap. Only the tones of blue denim vary. This denim look with wide pant cuffs could be from the era hundred years ago. So classic.
Blue denim is a wonderful material. I'm just wondering how does his wardrobe look like. A pile of denim shirts in slightly different shades of blue, pile of blue jeans, white T-shirts as undershirts. No worries what to wear. Casual and cozy. Easy as breathing.
Midsummer in Finland is magical time. The magic comes from sun that doesn't set. People gather together to cottage houses and Midsummer bonfire. Accordion music plays and birch trees are the greenest.
Ralph Lauren SS 2014 wonderful green dress would be perfect celebrating the Midsummer. At least somewhere else than Finland in this summer. Temperature in June has been so cold that it actually feels more like autumn than summer. But never mind, we still have some hopes for the summer in July.
Meanwhile we are waiting for the summer warmth there is good time to do some Midsummer Magic tonight. In old times people performed a lot of magic spells during midsummer. Many spells related to the prospective spouse's prediction. And many spells were performed naked. In this case, however, you can keep your clothes upon you.
Midsummer's Eve. Pick seven flowers. Put them under your pillow. When you sleep you will have dreams of your future husband.
Other Midsummer spells you can read in this Wikipedia Juhannustaika -article (sorry, in Finnish only).
Disclaimer: The news told afterwards that this midsummer in Finland has been the coldest in thirteen years.
Here we go again! I mean a week ago was the time and place for annual happening Helsinki Samba Carnaval. This starts to be a tradition here at Flash For Zonzon to make some illustration notes of the wonderful parade. This is the Part 3 in a row.
The above is the set, which I think was one of the finest this year. I don't know how the caravan goes in Rio Carnaval, but in Helsinki it uses man power.
The above is the set, which I think was one of the finest this year. I don't know how the caravan goes in Rio Carnaval, but in Helsinki it uses man power.
The baianas with their wide hem are always as beautiful. Love their rotating choreography. These baianas costumes had the two favorite things of my. These are the big bows and stripes. Black and red stripes in this case.
Marvelous costumes are the biggest fun in the parade. One can just imagine how many hours are spent in making them. Costumes have been thought to the last detail. This year we saw a lot of football-inspired costumes probably because of The 2014 FIFA Wold Cup, a tournament for the men's football world championship, that is currently taking place in Brasil.
Besides feathers and footballs, we saw this hummingbird costume. Very glam rock and like David Bowie in 70's. Trailers have the support poles, so that the dancers keep the ride over rough cobbled streets of Helsinki.
Dance makes one thirsty. So along the way is the maintenance staff in the presence backpacks full of water bottles. Relief to the thirsty dancer is always close by. And then the dancing continues with a smile.
If you would like to check up the two previous Helsinki Samba Carnaval -posts is in Flash For Zonzon, here are the links:
This particular look with marine cap is hip and pop in Helsinki streets right now. Another variation on this style is with blue and white striped long sleeve T-shirt. The pants are alternatively jeans or khaki pants. But the leg cuffs are wrapped in both cases for sure.
In Finland last Saturday was the endpoint to this school year. The kids get their school certificates and freedom from school begins, lasting two and a half moths. It's the point when people dress up. I saw this little angry fashionista in my daughter's prize day. Little girls are shameless in showing their moods. This contrast is juicy.
She is certainly one character that Tove Jansson would have been interested in. At least to me she looks like relative to Little My.
Right now we are having a wonderful exhibition of Tove Jansson at Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tove Jansson (1914–2001). Many of us know her art from Moomin characters and stories. But in this exhibition there is so much more: paintings, murals, political caricatures, films, 3D tableaus of Moomin scenes. And of course the original ink drawings of Moomin-books.
Also, to celebrate this anniversary, a special the "Tove 100" website is open. If you can't come to Helsinki, there is several happenings concerning Tove around the world this year. Check up the Calendar section from the website.
It is funny that even though the exhibition has a huge amount of artwork, the one picture that stays in my mind is a little drawing of a little girl that walks crocodile twice her size. A thin rope is between the two.
Right now we are having an exhibition of Finnish Graphic Designer of the Year 2014 in Helsinki at Design Forum Showroom. Flash For Zonzon wants to celebrate this occasion by making an fictional portrait of the powerful team of two creative women Ahonen & Lamberg.
Their company is based in Paris but as they say the tradition and values in Finnish design shows in their work. You know the clean lines, Scandinavian design etc. Also they do design symbiotically bouncing ideas between them. If one runs out of energy momentarily, the other takes over. There is a good point in this. We don't need to compete with colleagues but better encourage them, right?
What makes their work extra interesting is that they are very much working in the field of fashion. Just check up their website ahonenandlamberg.com
Now if you hang around Helsinki their exhibition is still open until 8.6.2014 at Design Forum Showroom (Erottajankatu 9 B). Also, I should hurry in there next week!
Oh yes, after mother's day I've been sneezing with a fever the whole week. Not very uplifting thing to do when finally summer has arrived in Helsinki. So I have been inside for days socializing mainly with handkerchiefs. With this handkerchief lady we are opening 2014 Summer Season in Flash For Zonzon. Let it be filled with warmth and sunshine!
It happened one Sunday when I was walking away from cinema Orion. I had just been watching Charlie Chaplin, the Gold Rush. Oh what a wonderful film it is! There is a scene where Chaplin and big Jim are really hungry. So hungry that big Jim starts to see hallucinations. During hallucinations he sees Chaplin as a giant chicken and starts chasing him to get finally a good meal.
Well, in these feelings I thought I was seeing hallucination when I saw the two exactly same looking women, dressed in similar outfits walking towards me on the street.
I remember that in school some girls had the habit to dress up in similar outfits. It kind of sealed their friendship. Together forever. With twins this is reality sometimes. I know few elderly persons from my neighborhood that apparently live together and also their style is quite the same. But exactly same outfit is seldom seen. That is why I needed to look two times when these ladies appeared.
Two weeks ago I visited Pet Expo with my family. From street style point of view there was little to be expected. You know, pet people are a bit of their own tribe. I have summarized one sample of typical pet-person style features above. A goth-like tasted with grunge, pink or turquoise hairdo, animal-tattoos, neon color high-lights. Characteristics vary according a pet. For example cat- and guinea pig -persons are usually bit more feminine and conventional.
Previous I have worked as a costume designer. The point there is to find the typical features of a character role. I can't help it that I still classify people by appearances. Clothes carry a strong message to tell other people who we are.
In general having pets is a important way to express oneself. Stand out from the ordinary. There was a department where the rat was running agility. They took time for each rat-participant. The lady, whose rat was in turn to do the agility, told me that she had altogether 26 rats at home. 10 boys and 16 girls. And she let them run freely in her home from time to time. Not so typical for a middle aged woman, we might say. And what is the effect when you tell about your hobby in a coffee table...
This young man walked in the middle of the heavily crowded expo dressed in green one piece jumpsuit. He looked miserable. We can just guess the reason. (Maybe dressing up green jumpsuit would have been reason enough.) His face was strong contrast to his joyful outfit with giant white baseball cap.
And as we are in pet expo I simply must present all the animals that live at our house. Because of allergy no hairy species are possible. So we have 200-liter aquarium with some 60 fishes and a bunch of Red sherry shrimps. It is so relaxing to stare an aquarium full of life.
Then we have a 80-liter paludarium with three Newts and one African Dwarf Frog accompanied with Red Sherry Shrimps as well. In this sketch you can see a series of croquis of the Newts.
This lovely Leopard Gecko has lived with us few months now. In advance I would not have believed how enchanting a gecko can be. These are sketches of the fellow in different positions. We don't have a name for it so far, as the gender is not clear yet. But if it is a girl it will be Luna and if it is a boy it will be Vili.
I met this guy in a entrepreneurs event. Somehow his style differed from the ordinary in my view. I mean if you have a suit, it may be dull and ordinary. But if the cut is right, there is some idea in details and fabric has some nice structure, a suit is a whole different thing.
Of course I had to tell him that his style is perfect. He told me that the feeling he's trying to catch springs from jazz. By mentioning jazz-music, the picture was completed.
Total black outfits are common in Helsinki. Anyway you can stand out from the crowd with lovely silhouette and by adding bright red spot to your look. I find this silhouette irresistible. I love the coats that are tied with belt made of same fabric as the coat. And the bright red ankle boots is the item that turns heads here.
I was walking back home from work one day. I noticed that something interesting is coming up. As we passed each other I realized it was the graphic hand pattern in her stockings that could be seen hundreds of meters away. Very effective and somehow cheerful sight too.
Helsinki Spring brings with it the possibility to dive into the world of Charlie Chaplin's. Helsinki City Artmuseum in Tennispalatsi has a nice exhibition of Chaplin going on. But that's not the only thing. Finland's National Audiovisual Archive, Cinema Orion performs various Charlie Chaplin films in this Spring.
The series start next Sunday with special show. There will be live band, Cleaning Women playing their music with the films. (Behind the Screen, 1916, One A.M., 1916, The Bank, 1915)
I have already tickets in my pocket for my family. You can try to get the tickets from here. Let's see what kind of style ideas will come this time. Last year I picked up this big bow from Charlie. Because as much as the funny tricks I enjoy watching the style of past times.
I just realized that I started this blog – Flash For Zonzon – three years ago. Boy how time flies! So I decided to bake a cake for you and me to celebrate this Sunday. Mmmmm, how good is virtual cake.
And were have I come in three years of blogging?
This blog isn't actually a highway measured in blog traffic. This is more like a winding little road in countryside. You never know exactly what will come after next curve. So it's certainly not boring. It's fun that I have had visitors from all over the world. It's fun that I have this channel to do what kind of illustrations I wish.
And what will come next?
I bet I'll keep on blogging.
I hope that the cake tasted good. I'm not actually famous of my baking skills. But it doesn't matter. I'll keep on baking anyway. Have a nice Sunday.
When I first saw the photos of Rick Owens SS 2014 runway show, the photos beat me to the punch. And I couldn't stop grinning. I was so pleased to see these women's angry expressions, in their eyes and faces. The pictures predicted that there was something more to see and when I saw the choreography of the fashion show in YouTube, electricity run along my backbone.
Strong expression in choreography, shouting, energy, vicious faces. All this gave me a message that these women were so sick of whatever it was and they have had enough and they wouldn't take it anymore! It's time to move forward all sisters together. And in the wold today, this is so true. The feminist in me was so happy.
Runway shows and fashion magazines determines strongly the way we see beauty. Skinny models are the norm. So it was very refreshing to see Rick Owens' out-of-the-standard models. This was a radical move in the context of fashion show. Stretching the limits. Thank you Rick Owens!
It is true that women have a reason to be angry.
I don't know whether there is a single country in the world that could be considered totally equal for men and women. Even in countries such as Finland, which seems to be very equal, fact is that women earn less than men for the same work. A man's euro is woman's 78 cents. Constantly, although this has been the issue as long as I can remember.
But this is just a little sorrow compared to bad treatment that some of our little sisters get to experience.
Think about the young girls that are forced to marry with adult men and the tragedies where it leads. Think about female circumcision, which occurs in the name of tradition. So many unnecessary tears.
But I'm happy that there is also bright spots on the horizon. Education is a way to better life. Despite this fact, going to school is not self evident to all girls. But then there is this Malala Movement, a global movement whose primary goal is to ensure that every girl in the world has access to the educational opportunities they deserve. This movement builds a better future for tomorrows women. Malala herself is one of them in just 16 years of age. If you want to read her story, you can visit The Malala Fund website.
In this Woman's Day I'm suggesting that women would start supporting strongly each other. Give Applause to a Woman Each and Every Day! Give positive feedback to your sisters, fellows and relatives, your boss, your teammates, or whoever you think is worth it. So girls – and why not men as well – just remember to use your voice.
As an inspiration I'm linking the mentioned Rick Owens -show Spring 2014 Womenswear in Paris here. Enjoy your day!
Now is the time that it is not totally desperate to start dreaming about summer. The sun has shown itself a few times quite promisingly and temperatures seem to stay above zero permanently. So I took the pastels and dreamed of summer with Suno 2014 spring/summer collection. Especially I find this silhouette with wide sleeves and flying hem so summery.