12/28/2014

GIFT SHOPPING IS NOT MY THING


Sweatshirt - OASAP*, Skirt - Zara, Knee Socks - Fiorella*, Headphones - Exibel Audio Series



Some of my favorite things compiled in one outfit. The sweater really struck a chord with me thanks to the splendid text. What can I say, I love chocolate. And black and white are both colors that always seem to work for me, something I feel extremely comfortable in. I received the headphones as a Christmas / anniversary gift from my boyfriend. Successful presents like this always make me feel like shit. The presents I give are hardly ever that good for some reason. After so many failures I've learned to mentally brace myself (see image below depicting this). Yet another thing I'll have to work on, I guess. I did however manage to get both my mother and brother decent gifts, which they seemed to like a lot (unless they were lying to my face). And my brother. He gave me a selfie stick. A selfie stick. Selfie. Stick. I realize it was a joke, but for a moment I was a tiny bit offended.

       In other news I'm pretty hyped about all of the stuff that's lying ahead. Yesterday we were shopping some furniture at IKEA and on Tuesday we'll start bringing all of our stuff to the apartment. Have I ever mentioned how much I love interior decorating? Flea markets here I come. And obviously I can't wait to get to live with the person whom I love so much. I couldn't be more excited. Other things that lie ahead include photo shoots (yes, several of them) and a couple of trips with (and to) great friends in January. At the same time, though, I'm really exhausted. My minor, no, make that non-existent, exercising has led me to the point where I feel like I'm destroying myself. The problem is that unless I make it into a routine I won't get myself to do it as often as would be best for me. Once a month or so simply doesn't cut it. Another problem is motivation, the only source of being the goal of not feeling like shit all the time. Which is, I guess, something fairly important to strive for if one wants a happy fulfilling life, but for some reason that's not enough to keep me going. I wish I acted rationally in this case. But we're not too rational beings when it comes down to it, are we?




12/24/2014

HOME ALONE


Model: Jade
Photographer: Sara Lehtomaa


Spent yet another fun day with Jade styling some awesome outfits, shooting and just hanging. This was a couple of months ago, though. Time flies by. And today it's Christmas eve. I don't consider Christmas in any way a special day, it's just like any other day but with the addition of particularly delicious food and heaps of it. I was planning to read until my eyes hurt and listen to some sweet music. And of course spend some time with my beloved family, who for once wont bicker because it's Christmas. Why can't it always be Christmas? Why can't people always be this nice? I think they could. At least most of the time, it's understandable that everyone of us every now and then have a bad day, but I really hate it when some people around me always have to concentrate on the negatives. It's pointless and stupid. "I'm just being a realist." No, realist and pessimist are not synonyms. Fuck off. You're ruining your life and upsetting people around you. There, I said it. Stop whining and get yourself together.

      After writing this I realized that I myself actually might come across as a pessimist to you readers, with all the things that I hate that I have the habit of bringing up (mostly winter) in my writings. But I can assure you that even as I may hate those things and admit it, I don't live in a bubble of purely negative energy and I certainly don't release it on others around me (well, I do occasionally...). I realize that there is a yin and yang to life, there's both good and bad (or at least energy that we perceive as either positive or negative, I don't believe in pure evil and good). It's up to you to decide how to cope with anything really. I've managed through doing the things that I love to balance out the negative parts of life. Doing that and not taking life so damn seriously (which I'm still kind of working on) makes living so much more enjoyable, for everyone really. Anyhow, hope you have a pleasant holiday.

12/23/2014

AMBIENT



Some random photos taken at different phases of my life.


As the title suggests this post is about ambient music. One of the things that I find very enjoyable when it's done well. This genre, often times devoid of any lyrics or at least putting little emphasis on them, concentrates instead on evoking a certain atmosphere. That is, the way it sounds becomes of extreme importance, since it's the only thing that defines the music. I guess, normally you would want to have a nice balance between thought-provoking lyrics and a sound that gets you the chills. I have to say, though, that sometimes I neglect the lyric part if I like the sound to the extent that it almost compensates for boring lyrics. As a matter of fact, a couple of years ago I didn't really give a damn about what they were singing as long as it sounded good. But today, after my boyfriend having introduced the exciting world of lyrics, paying attention to that side of music as well has made me change my music listening habits. Basically it has brought another layer to music, one which makes it even more enjoyable. Boring or, what you often encounter today, (especially on the radio) downright irritating lyrics, be it Taylor Swift or Pitbull, makes me not want to listen to something. Quite honestly I start feeling nauseous when I listen to what today's top artist have to say. And what does that say about the majority of people inhabiting this planet? I'm sure a lot of things, but one of them being the sad fact that we convince ourselves of being "too busy" to really pay attention to what's happening around us... 

        Before this turns into a rant, lets get back to ambient music. When the main focus is away from the obvious (and sometimes not so obvious) meaning, that means the artist will have to find a way through sound in order to create an atmosphere that is as emotive as possible to keep it interesting. This genre of music is also very easy to listen to. And what I mean by that is that getting absorbed into sounds is easier than having to interpret words. Which also means that it's great for relaxation, and for "letting go", since it's a place very easy to get lost into. Another great thing about it is the fact that there's almost an infinite amount of interpretations to be made out of the music. No lyrics means the music is what you feel when you hear it. Every individual will channel it differently and have a unique picture painted in their mind when listening, since we are all composed differently.

       One thing that particularly fascinates me is collecting sounds from your environment (sounds that aren't created with a musical instrument) and compiling them into a track. At least for me it tends to wake a particularly abundant stream of mental images. When I close my eyes I may sometimes be able to build a very detailed and precise imaginary environment based on the sounds. This type of music is exactly what Swedish artist Alex Boman did, and VICE just did a Lost and Found episode on him recording sounds all over Stockholm, his home city, and showing the result of the final track created from those. The idea of the Lost and Found series is to get artists to pay homage to their home cities through music. I really like the concept of the series, it's interesting to see what sides of their city the artists bring up and highlight. Especially in this case since Stockholm is my childhood home as well. Boman's track ended up being very light and peaceful. I would imagine it be a good listen along with something to read (I often listen to music while I read, especially when sitting in a bus, to block all the other unwanted noise). Will have to give it a try. What are your thoughts on the track (listen below), the Lost and Found series (watch below), or just generally this genre of music? I'd love to hear! Also you can read the post regarding this particular episode on noisey's website by clicking here.


  
  
  

12/18/2014

FIORELLA


Fringe Top - Fiorella*, Lace Shorts - H&M, Shoes - LWS


This lovely Finnish clothing store called Fiorella was kind enough to gift me this amazing fringe top along with some very cool knee socks (of which I will be sharing photos later on). I'm really happy to finally collaborate with a Finnish brand, and of course the fact that I'm in love with the actual clothes makes it even sweeter! Since this top is very luxurious I decided to pair it up with these lace shorts I recently found from H&M's sales for 7 euros (had actually kept my eyes on them for a while but just didn't feel like spending the money). Obviously this isn't something you would wear out in the Finnish winter, but in my opinion these two went so well together that I thought it wouldn't matter if I neglect that fact. Looking forward to getting to wear this combination when it gets a little bit warmer.

     Besides this beauty, Fiorella has a lot of print shirts, interesting (and occasionally funny) accessories and basic apparel. Perhaps a better description of their assortment would be the one found on their website: "...the fiercest mix of affordable, on-trend street-clothes in the Nordic countries. We've got a sweet collection of fashionable cuts, cool prints and poppin' colors. Our style has strong reference to modern pop-culture and we base our designs on giving people a fun way to express themselves through clothing." So go ahead, make your way to their website by clicking the picture below. And if you're Finnish do the right thing and support your homeland by purchasing something, saatana.



12/01/2014

WHITE


Top - Zara, Skirt - OASAP*, Jacket - Second Hand, Earring - Glitter, Shoes - Selected Femme

11/26/2014

BOTANIC



One day I found myself at the botanic garden as winter was creeping its way. Many of you should know by now that I don't fancy that time of year very much, for I've brought up the subject in my blog many more times than I probably should have. Anyhow, it felt like a good idea to visit this artificially warm and tropical place in seek of comfort. Quite honestly though it's not that wondrous a place. There were many beautiful details, but all in all I wasn't that impressed. Not like I used to be back in the day when I went there as a child. Nevertheless, I did capture those few details on camera, as you can see above. But this was months ago, and now it's November and winter has come, and I'm not too happy about it. It was just a couple of days ago that everything was covered in white. It has melted away by now, though, and all that's left is wetness. That's probably the part that I hate the most. The nasty transformation from snow to slush. But before this turns into a list of the things that I hate, an incredibly smooth change of subjects. School has been on my mind a lot lately. More than I'd like. I lack the ability of prioritizing and whenever I do something school related I can't help but being a bit of a perfectionist about it. And it absorbs a lot of my time. It's kind of foolish of me since grades don't really matter all that much at the university, the important thing is that one passes. Yet another thing I'll have to work on...

11/23/2014

BLACK


Photographer: Sara Lehtomaa
Model: Elina / FashionTeam
MUAH: Timo Vuorimies


I've been thinking lately about why our dressing conventions are what they are, why I wear what I wear. Specifically when it comes to the color black. It seems to have become some sort of "holy" color that is worshipped by all of fashion industry. You've all undoubtedly heard of the "must-have little black dress" and how all new trends are referred to as "the new black" (even as I'm starting to doubt anything ever will be). And it is indeed one of the colors I myself dress in most of the time. I know the most common reasons that people utter for dressing in black. It's something along the lines of "it goes well together with everything", "it's classy and simple", "I just feel comfortable in it", and so on. Sure, but what about it is it that has made it earn the title of "classy"? And why is it that we consider it as something that goes well together with everything? What has lead black to occupy its superior position in the fashion industry? I recently read an article named "Why black is addictive" (by Rebecca Willis in INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, November/December 2011) about this very subject and I chose a couple of snippets that provided some interesting points:

"The first thing to know about black is that—although the OED defines it as “of the very darkest colour”—it is not, strictly speaking, a colour at all. Black absorbs all the visible frequencies of light, just as white reflects them all. It is not on the colour wheel; adding black to a colour changes its tone, not its hue. Nor will you find it in a traditional watercolour palette—watercolourists think that black is cheating and that colour can be perceived in everything; indeed, van Gogh noted that Frans Hals painted with 27 shades of black. Black is an absence, not a presence. That, I think, is the main reason it is so versatile and can have so many wildly different meanings projected on to it, both in our culture and in others. 
This absence-not-presence is surely why black is universally believed to be flattering, and why anyone who has ever fretted about their figure regards black as a friend. It’s not as simple as the rule that says if you paint a room a dark colour it will seem smaller (and anyway, an architect friend told me that if you paint a very small room black it can seem bigger, because you lose track of where the space ends). It’s more that black is flattening, as well as flattering. When I asked the late Liz Tilberis, then editor of British Vogue, why fashion loved black so much, she explained that “it gives you an outline, a silhouette”. Colour and pattern, on the other hand, give you a surface—broken up, textured, contoured—that runs around the body and creates a visual sense of dimension. Black doesn’t actually have magical powers, though—if the outline is bulgy, in theory black will emphasise that, whereas colour and pattern detract from it. It should therefore follow that slim people look better in black than chubby ones, but that is a subjective matter."

To at least try to answer the question of why black supposedly matches with anything, I'll start by referring to some things mentioned above. "Black absorbs all the visible frequencies of light, just as white reflects them all" and "Black is an absence, not a presence" could very well be the reason why. If it's an absence of color, then wouldn't it only be logical for it to be neutral in whichever environment, combined with whatever color? The writer also connects this versatile nature of black to the fact that it is very widely used in many different societies and social groups. It's associated with nuns, priests, punks, goths, judges, suicide-bombers and witches, just to mention a few. It also bears many different symbolic meanings depending on who you ask. Willis goes on about symbolism later on in the article:

"Black has enormous symbolic power. This is embedded in our language—with its black lists, black looks, black moods and black magic—and in other languages, too. The code is so established that in old cowboy movies the bad guy wore a black hat and the good guy had a white one; similarly in the chariot race in “Ben Hur”, our hero’s horses are white, while his evil opponent’s horses are…you guessed it.  
This symbolism has existed since the dawn of time; or rather, since just before it—the word “dawn” is telling. Darkness came first. Then the Big Bang—or God, or possibly both, according to taste—made light out of the darkness. Light is the life force and without it things will die. Just as birth is about light—leaving the womb, opening our eyes—so darkness is about death, a final closing of our eyes, a return to the earth. The association between black and death is part of our natural world. The human animal has a primeval fear of the dark, because it robs us of our sense of sight; the late novelist Bruce Chatwin tried to explain this by suggesting that we were preyed on by an unknown creature during the night. Whether he’s right or not, we are mortally vulnerable in the dark. It is a short step to the equation of light and dark, of day and night, with good and evil, with God and the Devil. And that is how black and white took their places in the binary of morality, with black lined up squarely on Satan’s side."

All of this is true, however, there's one point that has been left outIn Japan the symbol for death and mourning isn’t black at all − it's in fact the complete opposite, white (in the form of the white carnation). This is also the case in China. Which would naturally mean that brides don't wear white, at least if they respect tradition. Likewise in India a bride dressing in white would mean dooming herself to future unhappiness. And if you look up the various symbolic definitions for black through the eyes of different cultures, you'll find that there indeed are many more than just death and mourning. So the symbolism of black isn't that universal after all. Suggesting that there's also a bit of coincidence involved, which in my opinion is an element that is always present to some extent. People have different views of life and its purpose and so they also have different ideas of what smaller units represent. But turning our attention back to the main question - the reason why it suddenly, after a long period of association with mainly negative things, in the 1920's, with Chanel's little black dress, slowly but surely started to turn into something rather stylish. This was, however, mainly directed at the fashion elites. It was only later on from the 60's onwards that it became popular amongst the middle class as well, starting with artists and intellectuals. There were the black turtlenecks and leather jackets. And soon black had established the position of some sort of foolproof symbol of good taste in fashion. Which still holds true. Who knows. For the sake of its simplicity, I personally like the theory of its versatile nature allowing such a radically different meaning to emerge.


However, I have a tendency to always try to find any possible biological explanations to things, because those usually make the most sense to me. But I can't really come up with any reason why black could be considered as beneficial for the sake of our survival. If anything it probably causes a lot of car accidents in the dark nights. In fact I was nearly run over by a car just a couple of days ago for wearing black everything and lacking a reflector. No, I don't think the adoration of black is quite that profound. And the theories of the black trend as representing the anxieties, imbalances, and insecurities that bug modern society, don't either strike me as very plausible. So perhaps black, after a long time of evolution of ideas puzzled together by our minds and language, is merely something that has become what it is today as a result of its versatility and of the (to some extent) mutual agreement of its significance. But one thing I know for sure, is why I myself have the habit of dressing my models in black at photoshoots. It's because black emphasizes the facial features of the one wearing it. In my opinion, when it comes to photography, if the clothes aren't purposefully intended to stand out and relay some designated meaning, one should always stick to black!

11/08/2014

VILMA ALINA


Model: Vilma Alina
Photographer: Sara Lehtomaa
MUAH: Mariela Sarkima
Styling: Maryam Razavi


Finally I get to share with you some of the material we shot last summer with amazing artist and old friend of mine Vilma Alina. It's not that often you get to work with such a wonderful team. Everyone involved were really passionate about it and naturally that is always how the best results are achieved. And an unforgettable day that was. Starting at the studio at 10am and then moving outside to Ruissalo and finishing at about 9pm, we were basically working all day long. So you can probably guess I still have a lot more material to share from that very same photo shoot, but that won't be until sometime next year. Really looking forward to that! Anyhow, back to present time, she just released her first single and the music video is now up on YouTube as well. Warmly recommend you to take a listen!


11/07/2014

CASEAPP


The image used for the case found via Tumblr (here).


Once again I've partnered up with awesome (and now further improved) Caseapp ! They've really widened their selection from last time I visited their site, and the feature I liked the most was the fact that you now can have your case with a glossy surface (obviously I ordered mine that way). I received it about three weeks ago and it's still in great condition, not a single scratch, even as I've dropped it to the ground numerous times. If you've never heard of Caseapp, it's a web store where you can make a custom case for your iPhone, iPod, iPad, MacBook or Samsung Galaxy. And if you don't feel like designing it on your own they also have a bunch of really pretty ready-to-go designs. Check them out here if you're in need of a new case for your device. Or, I don't know, you might want to buy one as a Christmas present to someone!

11/03/2014

HALLOWEEN



Some pretty shitty photos (quality wise) from a couple of weeks back when we had a pre-Halloween party at Kathy's place. A rather awesome night, flavored with Twister, limboing and above all good company. My unimaginative piece-of-shit-brain failed utterly and completely in coming up with a scary costume, which I guess is the point in dressing up (yeah, I haven't gotten all that into the random-halloween-whores movement). Felt kinda sad about my attire after I saw people who had really invested in their outfits. But then again, meh. How was your Halloween?

P.S. Once again, my deepest condolences, dear readers. I've been constantly occupied with a whole lot of supposedly important stuff, and that is the reason for my absence. BUT I have a ton of material to share with you guys (as soon as I've gotten past the editing part), and a lot of new projects coming up. So I hope we're cool!

10/21/2014

I SHOULD PROBABLY GIVE UP EVERYTHING ELSE AND START WRITING HAIKUS


A sweet warm caress,
The evening sun on my skin,
Now frozen on film.

What can I say. I was born a poet. After having analysed a bunch of different types of poems during my literature course, I've come to the conclusion that I like haikus the most. They're cute. Other than that I don't really like poems, they tend to be annoyingly mysterious and indirect. Either that, or they're plain boring (pretty much all love poems). I think it's just really inconvenient. But I guess that's part of the appeal to some people. Slowly figuring out the meaning and then eventually having an aha moment. I'm too impatient for that. I'd much rather listen to a song or see a movie. But in all seriousness, deep inside I do wish I was a brilliant wordsmith. What would be more awesome? Nothing really.