Point Me

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Helsinki is pretty stylish

There are a lot of websites out there now that take pictures of people on the street, documenting what they're wearing. The Satorialist is the most famous of them - got written up in Newsweek and named a "Top Design Influence" by the New York Times.

I'm just gonna throw this out there though, The Satorialist is kind of boring and pretentious. Stuffy I would even say. Stuffy! Just pictures of smug New Yorkers in overpriced trousers. If you want a fashion photo blog (fphlog?) that keeps on giving, you need to check out Hel - Looks.

Hel Looks documents the stylish choices of everyday folk in the capital of Finland. I think the reason it's so superior is that 1. The fashion choices the people make are interesting(slash awesome slash crazy) and 2. They interview the people about their outfits, and what influences their style. People talking about their clothes is actually surprisingly entertaining. Open ended prompts like "what inspires you" are twisted into some pretty out there answers. Throw in the awkwardness of translating from Finnish to English, and you get some remarkable turns of phrase. Hel-Looks is often like "Kids Say the Darndest Things" + "What not to Wear". Like, 65% of the time. The other 35% the subjects are wearing cute stuff, or boring in their self-assessment.

I was going to write some snaky commentary to go with this list, but honestly, the original blurbs speak for themselves.

10 of the Coolest People on Hel-Looks

Merja (26)
"I try to surprise myself with new combinations. I want to avoid certainties. The most important thing is that clothes fit the mood of the day. If they don't, the whole day can be spoilt. My favorite themes are freshness, comfort and love. I've been wearing this outfit for the whole week. I've been happy and playful."

The Muff (20) and Täxi (20)
"I adore myself", says The Muff, the singer and guitarist of Naked, the only band in Finland with a confetti machine of it's own.

"I adore Freddy Mercury", says Täxi.

Islaja (27) and Lussu (28)
Islaja: "I'm wearing my mother's old wedding dress. The bag is a souvenir from Moscow. Cycling wearing a mini-skirt and French soundtracks inspire me."
Lussu: "I love all my treasures found at second hand markets. Last week I made real findings at a dust-bin. Like a dress with church tower prints."

Lari (21)
"I like my backbag because of the ufo pics. My ex-girlfriend gave it to me. The coat used to belong to her, too. It seems that I get all my clothes from my friends.
The 19th century and 80's transgender styles look always good."

Kaisa (22)
"I bought my jacket at children's department, the boots are from Nilson, the bag from Beamhill and the "sealskin" stockings by Vogue. Lately I've been inspired by gross things and bad taste that first make you sick. After seeing too much pastel colours I like to wear something stronger. Next I would like to buy a simple, sharp black dress shirt."
Suvi (26)
"My friend gave me these panties as a birthday present. She embroidered them with pearls, trinkets and bows."
Suvi is wearing jeans by J. Lindeberg and curtain tieback as a necklace.

Murmeli (60)
"I bought my jacket over 10 years ago in Bangkok. I like to wear etno style clothes and shop often at second hand markets. I think socks are an important part of the outfit. These socks are from Stockmann. My favourite outfit is an Afghan dancing dress that I bought at a museum in Amsterdam in 1997."

Seth (11, but born in 1988)
"I don't try to stick to any particular style. I wear and do things that feel natural. Sometimes I feel like a grannie and I colour my hair grey. Sometimes I'm a stylish middle-aged woman and sometimes a child. This teddy bear is not my accessory. I'm going to give it to my mother who is at the hospital. It will bring her joy."

Lassi (22)
"My coat and cap are from UFF and the bag is by Karhu.
My style is inspired sport and political history of the 70's and the 80's, for example distance-runner Steve Prefontaine."

"I dance a lot and it has a great influence on my style. I mostly dance oriental dances but I also perform as an Elvis Presley impersonator. Elvis is style king number one.
My favorite material is leather. I've got many leather jackets. This one is from former Dekadenz. For summer I have light-coloured country style clothes. I walk my own way."

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