We were invited to Fashion in Helsinki – a more creative alternative to Helsinki Fashion Week – this spring. And we were moved by it!
On our first day, we went to the Garden of Eden – an invitation-only event in the majestic Kämp Galleria on Pohjoisesplanadi that is now also one of the main homes for Finnish fashion. The creative people we met there and their peaceful designs won our hearts! Later, we got inspired by this elegant 19th-century capital and captured some aw’19 outfits near our favourite spots of the town – the Helsingin Päärautatieasema (the Central Railway Station) and the harbour.
On the second day, we took some time to wander around the town before visiting Finnish Men’s Corner by Frenn, Saint Vacant and Kasperi Bags. As some of you may already know, we’re planning to include Saint Vacant fine boots and shoes in our selection for GUILD store. Saint-Vacant is a sustainable brand fighting against mass-production based shoe culture – no trends! No unnecessary manufacturing, no over-consumption – just simplicity and style. The bespoke shoemaker Janne Lax introduced us to another Janne (Kasperi Suhonen) – the founder and head designer of the wonderful Kasperi bags. If our Tallinn friends will love their bags just as much as we do – guess, there’ll be a place in GUILD store for them as well in the future!
Right across the Frenn store is our very favourite shop in Helsinki – C.Hagelstam Antiquarian Bookstore. While we lost our noses in old manuscripts, postcards and long-forgotten fashion books the elderly lady observed us quietly. Until she couldn’t resist anymore “Who ARE you, you wonderful-wonderful people?! I have lived quite a long life and I’ve seen thousands of people but for decades, I haven’t seen anyone as stylish as you! I feel – there is hope!”
What a lovely conversation we had with that lady. For us, she reflected a long-gone, elegant area that in fact is inspiring for us, too. We will never forget that beautiful dame and whenever in Helsinki, definitely visit the store where time seems to stop!
The main event of Fashion in Helsinki was definitely NÄYTÖS19 organised by one of the finest fashion schools in the world – Aalto University. Thanks to its fashion department leads, Tuomas Laitinen and Pirjo Hirvonen, the school truly has become a source of industry talent. Big names and small names from leading fashion houses were all there, searching for new, hard-working talent to create miracles with. And miracles is what the Finnish design students do!
Collection after collection, the graduation show reflected deep commitment and understanding of the crafts and creativeness. The show was juried by industry professionals such as Marni’s Francesco Risso, photographer and director Jordan Hemingway, designer Benjamin Kirchdorff, Vogue Hommes International’s Azza Yousif and Vogue Archive Editor Laird Borrelli-Persson.