Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Marimekko Fashion Show

Marimekko fashion show

The Marimekko fashion show is sort of a spring tradition In Helsinki. It usually takes place either in late May or early June, and right in the middle of a busy park. There are several shows a day, and it's open to the public (it's the current collection, or what you can find in stores right now). So, I was there last Friday, my camera ready, to bring you a few pictures and my thoughts on what I saw.

Yes, it was a spectacular show. And the clothes had some catwalk appeal, sure. And no, this is not going to be a glowing review.

Don't get me wrong, I love Marimekko . Well, I'm a bit biased, of course, being a Finn... Actually, I think for a Finn to say anything negative about Marimekko is the same as saying anything negative about Ice Hockey or Heavy Metal, i.e. considered a treason of sorts...

But I'm going to risk it by saying that Marimekko is losing its edge, and letting down its customers. And I'm going to tell you why.

Marimekko summer 2016 fashion show
Marimekko summer 2016

What happened to colour?

Marimekko is, after all, known for their quirky patterns and bright colours...

Given that in the past few years Marimekko has had a few very successful collaborations (first with Banana Republic and this year with Target) showcasing some of the iconic prints in vivid colours, you would expect them to dig deeper in their archives and produce something similar. Or at least some colourful accessories (umbrellas, bags etc with some of the retro patterns, maybe? Just a thought...).

But no, black and white dominated the show. So much so that I was beginning to think that Armi Ratia must be turning in her grave...

Of course, there was some colour, too, though not as much as you might expect from this iconic label. Perhaps it's the Nordic women's (and in particular Finnish women's) fear of colour preference for neutral tones and black, who knows.

Marimekko summer 2016
Marimekko summer 2016
Marimekko summer 2016

And the shapes?

I love Marimekko textiles (bed linen, towels) and kitchenware (trays, bowls, plates, glasses), but as far as clothes are concerned, this fashion show had very little to offer. For one, I've always found that while shapeless sack dresses may look pretty on slim, tall models, the average woman would do better with a bit more fitted clothes. Such as for example the eminently more wearable pieces in the Banana Republic and Target collaborations. Or the slightly more fitted, 60's inspired shift dresses Marimekko had a few years back. I know, I should have bought one then...

But judging by what they sent down the catwalk this time, I think Marimekko is letting down its roots (never mind if they call it 'an homage to strong women' such as the company founder Armi Ratia and some of the well-known designers).

Why do I feel this way? Marimekko used to be a brand for every woman. Literally. In my childhood, (late 60's, early 70's) there was hardly a Finnish woman (or a man or a child) who didn't own a piece by Marimekko. The clothes were fun and quirky, but more importantly wearable and accessible. Anyone could wear Marimekko, and there was something for everyone, that was the idea. And now... Well, two friends of mine who also saw the fashion show were quick to say they wouldn't wear any of the outfits we saw. One of them even said some of the outfits reminded her of her mother's nighties from the 60's...

Marimekko summer 2016
Marimekko summer 2016
Marimekko summer 2016
Marimekko summer 2016

I'm sure I will keep buying Marimekko textiles, kitchenware and accessories but as for clothes...
I tend to prefer clothes that flatter the body I have (yes, I'm curvy, and it's highly unlikely I will suddenly get significantly taller), and clearly there was not much there to help me with this. But, I did buy a pair of really cool Marimekko sunglasses a while back, so maybe there is some hope. Now, if we could juts get a really cool line of accessories in some of the retro prints, please. I'm thinking bags, umbrellas, wellies, raincoats...



Sunday, 22 May 2016

Pale Girl Wears Neutrals

summer neutrals

I don't often wear neutrals

Correction: I hardly ever wear neutrals. In fact, this is it: I'm wearing here all the beige clothes I have in my wardrobe.

And the reason why I don't wear neutrals is quite evident here, too. Look at me, the colour of my skin... Yep, I'm pale. That's an understatement, of course, but let's go with that one for now. So, wearing neutrals is going to be quite  a challenge to pull off, and a huge step outside my comfort zone...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

I See Stripes...

how to wear stripes

Is it possible to overdose on stripes?

Well, this post certainly tests your tolerance as far as stripes are concerned. It may also prove that my stripe addiction has gone a tad too far...

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Casual Workwear

40plus trench

This is what I wear to work

Most of my outfit shoots take place on Saturdays, occasionally on Sundays. This is because my photographer / hubby Professor M is only around at weekends. Yes, I'm a weekend wife... Long story short: we spend the work week apart, in different countries. It's less complicated than it sounds.

Anyway, these pictures were actually taken on a Monday, after work. Well, it isn't really that different from what I wear at weekends...

Friday, 13 May 2016

Casual Wear, over 40... or 50

over40 fashion

Casual Wear over 40...

Lately I've seen a lot of blog posts titled something like 'How to wear (this or that) over 40', or 'Can you wear (this or that) over 40?' And as much as I love the outfits and admire the bloggers posting them, I'm somewhat perplexed by this phenomenon. Yes, I said phenomenon: there are dozens of bright, creative and elegant over 40 (or over 50, over 60, over 70...) bloggers out there, defiantly declaring that they wear whatever the hell they want.

Fair enough. I would expect nothing more.

I'm just wondering why we should feel the need to declare our right / intention to wear whatever we want...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

New Twists on Old Staples

40+ trench coat

A Breton top, a trench coat, a scarf...

How many outfits like this have I already posted? Well, there's nothing new under the sun, really, and I don't believe in trying to come up with something new just because...

I suppose we could say I'm stuck in a rut. Except that I don't think that. I would rather describe it as having found my signature style. It works for me: it suits my personality and my lifestyle. And you know what they say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The May Day Lunch Outfit

40+ leather jacket

On 1 May the weather was quite nice: the sun was shining and it was a pleasant 14ºC / 57ºF. In  other words, the perfect spring day.  And hubby and I had booked a table at a summer restaurant. 


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