Saturday, June 22, 2013

One Outfit, Six Photos

I was particularly feeling this one the other day.

This is what B calls my "Darth Vader coat."  It's from this guy, this collab.  And I got it on major sale in 'Sinki.

The shirt is a vintage back-buttoner I got at a Philly thrift store.  It had a matching skirt but I couldn't get my big bum-bum into it, so I cast it out.  (Make me feel fat, will you?!)  The skirt is silver lamé from Monki.

The ring is Kenneth Jay Lane.

The necklace is aluminum and light as air.  And would you look at that great print?

I can't quit these old Chie Mihara's.  They are all worn in and awesome now.


Look at these beauties!  Purple-ringed carrots and bright asparagus from Gotland.

Black garlic.  Are you on this yet??

Tastes like candy!

That one time Victoria made a gluten-free rhubarb and strawberry pie with wild rhubarb from their country house.  NOMS.


This necklace.  I mean, THIS NECKLACE.  Am I right?

I chased this joint all around Helsinki.  I had Marimekko stores calling other Marimekko stores and I do believe I got the last one in the whole city.  I totally earned it.

This pin is very special to me.  And what about those pheasants?  Ain't nobody gonna tell 'em they ain't peacocks!

This is an unfiltered shot showcasing a glorious Stockholm afternoon.  (Yeah, I'm totally in a long coat, but look how beautiful the sky is!  Stockholm is proof that SUNNY is not equal to WARM.)

The scarf is an old Hayden-Harnett jam with anatomically correct earthworms.  And the Pegasus pin is from Tatty Devine (accept no imitations!).  The sunglasses are ooooold from Urban Outfitters and have been getting lots of play lately.  Not necessarily because I LURVE them, but just because they exist and are in my possession.  I have a rule not to buy expensive sunglasses because I lose or scratch them... but all of my cheap-o sunny g's seem to have stick around for years.  So maybe I should invest in a nice pair?  Nah....

It's as good as you've heard.  

I am mastering the art of taking pictures of my boyfriend wherein he's not making his jerky Bart Simpson-y "photo face."  Look how cute!

Oh, and there was that one time we all dressed up as "arabs" for an Arabian Nights party.  This was a WORK party and was not PC in the least.  

Have I told you how the Swedes take their Summer and Holiday work parties seriously?  As in, costumes and performances.  Costumes meaning that you dress up according to a theme and performances meaning that you are required to sing and dance.  ARGH.  This is definitely the worst part of my job.

Stupid, stupid.


Oh, Helsinki.  How do I put it?

I will try to express it here without sounding like a total jerk.  Because I liked Helsinki... I did.  But I felt a bit let down, I'm not gonna lie.  So many things that looked super-duper online turned out to be merely ho-hum when we were actually standing right in front of them.

First, our neighborhood--Kallio.  Hailed as the hip, gentrifying area, it seemed like the right spot for us. But it felt a little too spread out or not dense enough or, well, just a bit sad.  We hit a few bars--one with incredible vintage Pan Am decor, but didn't feel inspired by the patrons style or vibe.

How do I put it?  This should be where the cool kids are kicking it... but instead it looked like a bunch of Latvians (or is it Estonians?) outfitted in fashions from a suburban Marshall's (or is it Ross?) in Crapsville, USA.  I mean, Kallio is full of vintage stores... but who's buying the cool old shit?  Because no one was wearing it!

Swedes don't hesitate to share their generally held feeling that the Finns are a bunch of drunks.  (Yo, is that racist?)  And I really wanted to disprove that--really I did--and come back and tell the next Swede who deigned to judge the Finns in this way that I saw them writing theorems with a G&T in one hand or discussing opera over glasses of rosé.  But I actually saw them pounding shots, stripping down and jumping in fountains, and beating each other with belts so aggressively that I had to run into a store and ask for the cops to be called.  (The latter happened right outside our apartment.  What a nice welcoming committee!)  I guess I should be happy (or is it disappointed?) these shaved-bald neo-Nazi jerkholes weren't stabbing each other, as it first appeared.  I hate to admit it, but I was a little shocked at how rough some of the Finnish folks were.  And this was in Helsinki--their metropolis!

I find Swedish style (I'm talking about what people are wearing around town) pretty one-note and boring.  Lots of black and, sure the cuts can be creative, but no one wants to really stand out or take chances here in Stockholm.  But compared with the Finns, the Swedes are style stars!  In Helsinki, I found myself longing for someone in something chic, flowy, and black.... WHAT?!

I have mad love for the design history of Finland (I'm looking at you, Aalto and Saarinen pere et fils) and I know there are creative forces still going strong there.  But I felt like the younger designers or today's innovators didn't have much of a presence.  We explored their "Design District"and exclaimed many times outwardly, "Is this IT?"  There was a killer store showcasing tons of Finnish designers under one roof that was a highlight, but besides that the designs were either tired or dowdy or the brands were from other countries.  Pfflbt.  And "district" is pretty inflated.

I did like Helsinki, and I'm glad we went there.  The flight was cheap and it was a new adventure.  And the food markets are pretty great, too.

Anyway, here are some shots from around town.

Lovely boat bar/resto on the water.  Who doesn't love hanging out on a boat, docked or not?

The botanical gardens might have been my favorite spot in the city.  The grounds were great for a wander.  The plants were all clearly marked and there were tons of new birds to delight in.  What is it with me, as I've gotten older I've taken more of an interest in birds.  I have to keep reminding myself I'm not that old yet... but still... BIRDS!  Yay!

Creepy doll at one of the thrift stores we went to.  This was the spot where Keegan found this album that featured tracks from "Jews," "Gypsies,"and "Negroes."  Definitely racist!

The Nacho Jr. followed us all around the city.  There are corn chips on this burger, people!

Dinner at the lovely Ateljé Finne, which used to be a sculptor's studio.

Angry Bird gummies!

Funny stuff.

No Scotties allowed, apparently.  Definitely breed-ist!

Whiskey-flavored sausage!  Slim-Jim, you are slacking!

The local burger chain.

The view from our dinner table on the last night.

Cutie bar done up in vintage Pan Am stuff.

Bear imagery is everywhere!  They love their brown bears in Finland!

Helsinki Architecture

We were in Helsinki a couple of weeks ago.  I'll start with some shots of the architecture and then get on to the rest of it.

The architecture was almost certainly my favorite thing about the city. (The proliferation of Marimekko and the sunny shores were pretty great, too.)  Sometimes it felt like I was in Russia (or how I imagine it to feel being in Russia or some other Eastern Bloc spot), sometimes it felt similar to Stockholm, and other times I caught a French-ish or Southern European vibe.  There was an art deco ("Jugend") current running strongly throughout, but also some nice modern spots.

I think my favorite part was the attention to details.  No opportunity for a decorative flourish was left without.  And, oh the reliefs!

I love the checkerboard details and those cute square balconies jutting off the turrets.  Oh, and those Elroy "antennae" on top of the turrets!  

Oh, and the beauty that follows is the Temppeliaukio Church (or more simply, the Church in the Rock).  Us dumb-dumbs walked all around the outside of the stone wall (shown in the first photo) before finding the entrance at street-level.  Our long entrance sort of added to the mystical feel of the place, I guess.

It is a beautiful and peaceful spot, indeed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Other Week

I wore this, and we went for a long (impromptu!) hike.

 Orange leather jacket vintage, shirt H&M, shorts vintage (from Iceland!), tights H&M, shoes Veja.

We just started walking, north of our apartment... through the Technical University (taking in its pretty campus and wonderful sculptures), by a lake where people (and some snakes) were swimming, by some abandoned stairs (as B shows you here), to a working farm full of cows and sheep and horses and the biggest hares I ever did see, to the campus of Stockholm University (did you know Ingmar Bergman attended?) where we caught the metro onto another part of the city.

It was a wonderful day.