The curators of Disconap have lives literally filled with Marimekko paraphernalia. Synonymous with Finland in the way the Moomins are (which comprises the other 50% of everything we communally own), the company is now celebrating sixty years of trading in a very lowkey way. To confirm my devotion and honour the ’Mekko I have done a dodgy Blackberry camera diary of all the stuff of theirs I have used in the past week. As I own practically everything they sell at Heals this could get epic.
Bag comes to work with me. Yuppie work Mac and bag in “design classic face-off”.
The ultra-yuppiesh contents of my bag: Grazia, Kindle, Eight Hour Cream, tupperware of berries, ‘Mekko umbrella.
Stripey socks. Sorry about the rain-damaged boots but check out the crystals on them!
I took this jolly green bag to the farmer’s market where A kindly bought me this coconut macaroon. I ate it while reading these edifying tomes.
My make-up bag. I decided not to bombard you with pictures of towels and trays and kitchen knick-knacks, but believe me, you would think my collection was complete, you would think I’m the girl the girl who has everything.
A will sigh at my terrible photo-ing abilities but this picture is ace because this is what I look like almost every day of my life: stripey Marimekko top/skinny jeans/backdrop of Grazias, empty milk glasses and multiple gadgets.
I will cease and desist but this is only about half of my Marimekko bag collection, if that. I’m a connoisseur!
The sixtieth anniversary is bringing one aspect I am a bit concerned about: expansion. For me Marimekko is about quality and slightly weird Finnishness, not interiors trends or seasonal collections. I want it to be successful but with news that they are expanding to hundreds of locations in America I’m just really anxious that the brand doesn’t get diluted or become too familiar. I still get a thrill when I see a lady with a Marimekko bag, even though it no longer means we probably bought it at the same shop in Helsinki. Basically, no one shopping in a desultory fashion in LA could possibly love their Marimekko bag as much as I love mine.
I’ve been musing the potential for a satchel purchase and I’d like to update you on my quest. After seeing a Cambridge Satchel Company bag in real life, I decided the strap was too thin and that I really needed something heavy-duty, due to the high volume of books I will be carting around soon. Thus, and this isn’t surprising as 90% of my bags come from them, I’ve gone for the Marimekko Ladybear.
It’s massive! I bought it on my annual trip to Finland last week. I think this year’s holiday was the best I’ve had as an adult: all the necessities such as lake-swimming, fish-eating and visiting the grandparents all went off without a hitch. And no one got stung by a horsefly.
Lots of pockets:
While I was in Helsinki, I visited NEW shops I had never visited before, imported from Sweden: Weekday and Monki. I’d heard of them before, mainly from the Flying Saucer blog so I was quite keen to take a look. Only now that I google them is it revealed that Monki is aimed at teenage girls but I loved that shop and spent all my remaining Euros there. It was very brightly coloured and had weird little stuffed monsters as a mascot.
They seem to do fun twists on the basics and in addition, it is very cheap, definitely in the Miss Selfridge price range: a pair of trousers and a black sweater with frills (both of which I have worn incessantly since I bought them – pictures to come once they come out of the wash) came to 50 euros altogether. I could have bought loads more.
Weekday was a lot more trendy, in the vein of Acne or other Swedish designers. I liked their t-shirts but nothing magentised the money out of my purse the way everything in Monki threatened too. Perhaps I am just a teenage girl at heart, or I’m regressing.
I absolutely love colour. I often realise I am leaving the house wearing about 8 different colours on shoes,top, hat, skirt and jacket. So I find anything with a rainbow of colours extremely appealing. I have discovered a new fix in this department in the way of Chris Benz. I especially like the outfits on the redhead as I now have reddish hair.
My original and eternal love is Marimekko, but they drive me bonkers with their incredibly tiny images and refusal to answer emails requesting a lookbook. On the plus side, at least you know I’m not in any way being encouraged to write about them.
Tiny ladies in the distance; it’s like they don’t want us to see their lovely, stripey, colourful clothes.
And finally, some inspiration from a brilliant online outfit community called Wardrobe Remix, which seems to specialise in pleasant, colourful ensembles and has tens of thousands of members.
What Would a Nerd Wear. I love this red colour with all the black and beige. It’s the perfect work outfit, if you have a work to go to (sigh).
Fraxinilucia. This is so adorable and needs to be copied by me hastily. I used to embrace the whole “slip-showing” look at school, inspired by Sarah from Heartbreak High. I also love any red/blue/white combo.
Calivintage. This is a really clever use of colour because I don’t think I would have looked at the brown skirt and seen its potential. Bows always give me joy and I love the subtle colour palette between the flat yellow and then brown and red.
I love blocks of bright colours and so I decided to dress up my mustard-yellow Marimekko bag with some other primary colours. I bought the pleated skirt in Oxfam and it’s completely brilliant. It’s a bit small but it has a panel before the pleats so it sits up high on the waist and then kicks out pleasingly. It’s very man-made, but it feels silky and nice so I shall just stay away from naked flames. The bag is a life-saver as I have to lug my laptop and camera about with me everywhere and I don’t own a rucksack. I am afraid for my knee joints under all the weight!
I went to a lot of events last week for my internship and I felt a bit underdressed at some of them because people had really made an effort. This outfit took me from video art at the ICA, then a gallery full of older people, seeing friends, having dinner at a nice restaurant and then seeing Herman Dune at a student union and I didn’t feel over- or under-dressed at any of the places. I will probably be cracking this out again although for Fashion Week, where I am very lucky to be attending a few things, I am going black, black, black.
Any one have any ideas about “go-anywhere”, no-shame outfits I can try out? And what do I wear for fashion shows?
Well, you know, this blog isn’t all about A and I wishing we had stuff we can’t afford and photos of us in pumpkins. It’s also about our amazingly stylish and trendy lifestyles that you only wish you could emulate.
So, here are my tips for living up to my fabulousness:
- Get sacked. Seriously, it’s the new having a job.
- Spend three hours of your day in the jobcentre because, in the words of the kindly manager at Wandsworth “Jobcentre Plus”, where you went wrong was not giving your form to Susan. You know Susan! She’s the one you give your form to. Sorry, you’ve now been deleted from our system.
- Get toothache, go home and have a sad.
- Remember you now have a cat living with you and feel weird that it can see you sitting on the sofa with no trousers on.
The only good thing about today is that Igot to carry my new Marimekko bag around with me. Had you forgotten this is a fashion blog? Here it is in all its mustardy glory. Luckily, despite having no job, I have a lovely Finnish grandma who gives me Euroz and I spent them all in the Marimekko shop (not pictured: new additions to my napkin collection) (oh my god, I really do have one).
I think a whole other post should be dedicated to my learning to buy and apply makeup as I am not really that skilled at it. Magazines have never addressed how to make up a face whose most important feature is the cheeks.
Hey! I’m in Finland. To prove it, check out all these crazy letters: ö ä å. I can just make those any time I like.
After a rather aggravating night spent sharing a hostel room with my brother, who may or may not have swine flu (no darling bro, it is not morally neutral to play dubstep at 2am in a hostel), had a good day wandering around town. I love walking from my aunt’s lovely flat by the sea through the market up to the main shopping road, to my favourite shop Marimekko. I especially like the stalls with berries, which they sell by the litre:
The view from the bridge connecting my aunt's demi-island to the market.
A big case of cakes and the new MEAT DOUGHNUT pictured far right.
Me, checking out some flowers. There is a weird lack of blondes in this picture.
Historic fountain\wind change carnage.
My super-awesome grandma gave me some euros so I might go back on Monday and buy this clutch bag.
I’m off to the countryside tomorrow to sit by the lake and relax. I look forward to it all year: the sound of birch trees rustling and mosquitoes buzzing in your ear while you try to sleep, and other than that, utter, utter silence. No phones playing Cascada on the train, just beautiful red wooden houses and morose blonde people on bicycles. Blueberry pie and strawberries and Coke in paper cups. HOLIDAY POWER!
It is Sunday so I am going to indulge my Nap side and think about home stuff. For a long time my favourite flowers were tulips but they have been usurped by a new queen, the peony. Peonies are dramatic and blowsy; they always look like they’re on the turn so they’re like the ultimate flower as a symbol of mortality. How I can work this into my “rented accomodation” interior design look of late I am not sure.
These arrangements are from a US online shop called Saipua (the Finnish word for soap, which they also sell). I am always thinking about colour combinations and I love the way these arrangements zing. It’s so sad that flower arranging is considered to be a nerdy hobby for old ladies because, like other domestic activities, it can be satisfying to do and does not necessarily give you points on your feminist license.
I have also been giving some thought to the big, blank, white wall in my living room. I can’t bang nails into it to hang pictures because it will crumble apparently but I want to put something there. I had the idea that I could build up a mural with carefully applied paper or hang things on strings from the picture rail. So far I haven’t come up with anything brilliant but it needs to be something bright, maybe a few images or objects in a range of colour tones.
Inspiration from Kaffe Fassett:
Enjoy your Sunday.
I’ve had two accusations of looking Swedish so far since dying my hair. This is a SLUR on my heritage. I have no personal beef with the Swedes but I think you’ll find I look Finnish. It’s the massive round head that gives it away and the lack of cheekbones like ice picks. Finland has its fair share of fox-faced willowy types but the rest of us have what my friend Emilia calls “round, friendly features”.
Actually, I love Swedish fashion (Acne t-shirts need to beware of me when I get paid next month) but today I am approximating the effect of being in Stockholm with the help of Marimekko and See by Chloe:
p.s. Can you tell I have just worked out how to take a half-decent photo with my new camera? Iwill try not to post too many zillions.