February 2012

February has been a month of funky arrivals to Paloni

Vietto Sheer Neppari Skir

The Vietto Sheer Neppari Skirt (75€) is the perfect layering piece for an avant-gardist or adventurous turnout. I’d pair it with a simple dress or a top & miniskirt combination underneath, spiced up with colorful leggings or tights. The hand colored Kiss Kiss art leggings in hot pink or sunny yellow from Paloni would be a perfect match (38€). The skirt has an asymmetrical hem with poppers. By attaching the poppers from the hem to the waist, the skirt changes its shape and gets airy pleats of different forms. The see-through, textile industry leftover material might be more familiar from the lining of sports jackets, but is far more interesting as the clue of a genuinely different skirt. These skirts are designed and made by Minna Kaartinen in Helsinki, Finland.

Avaruusmuovi wings

Another favorite of mine from our latest arrivals also comes from Finland. Petra Eriksson, the designer of Avaruusmuovi has managed to re-invent the brooch – and to make something unique from laser-cut acrylic. Not the easiest task, but the outcome is addictive. A pair of the Wing brooches (26,50€/pair) instantly got to be a part of my wardrobe. (As people who know me well know: my wardrobe nowadays is very minimalistic and consists of true favorites only – an outcome of having my own design store, I guess.) Wearing just one brooch feels almost lame when you could have a pair of these wings to make your thoughts fly and co-workers smile. And oh yes, I’d definitely wear these for a day in the office as well – preferably on the collars of a white shirt. Available in shiny black and in silver mirror. The Avaruusmuovi items are designed and made by Petra Eriksson in Turku (cut by Ida Lehtinen in Naantali), Finland.

March will be a month of spring arrivals – we’re expecting new collections from labels and designers like Linda Sipilä (a women’s collection in printed silk/cotton), POGOSTICK failureSecond ChanceAngel Iglesias and Simone’s Rose.

Designer of the Month: Minna Kaartinen / Vietto

Left: The Vietto Hapsu scarf is a classic piece that jazzes up any outfit - a favorite piece among Paloni's customers,
and for all good reasons. Right: Minna knitting a Hapsu scarf in Paloni. The director Aarni Vaarnamo
shooting material for the Paloni video.

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Well, I’m a very contradictory person so it’s pretty hard to describe myself in only one sentence, but to keep it brief: I’m an individualistic person with a warm heart and a strong will!

How would you describe your label Vietto in five words?
Independent, innovative, intriguing, eco friendly and very much usable. (not exactly in five words…)

Why handmade / locally produced?
I have my background in Environmental management so I guess an ecological point of view is the most important thing for me. On the other hand I have been interested in fashion all my life and also been making things with my own hands for as long as I can remember. I also want to give an alternative to my customers.

How is Vietto ethical / ecological and what does this mean to you?
I use mainly ecological materials in my designs – either recycled, textile industry leftovers or then ecological, locally produced textiles by e.g. Orneule Ltd. I don’t renew my whole ‘collection’ twice a year. My design process is more like evolutionary. It means that my creations constantly evolve, but most of them stay in my collection as ‘classics’ for more than one season. When design is timeless and personal, the wardrobe doesn’t need to be renewed for each season. PLUS I do my best to support local production, to use ecologically produced electricity, to recycle and use all I can… Simply and truly, I try to do my best!

What are your most important sources of influence / inspiration?
My inspiration comes from everything I see. I’m very much into urban landscapes, but at the same time I love nature and peacefulness. I love colours, but I need to create a calm canvas for them. I’m really into subcultures, but I still want my creations to look unique. AND I can’t claim that I wouldn’t follow trends at all…  I guess this reflects quite a lot my contradictory personality I mentioned before…

How has your experience as a Paloni designer been?
Totally amazing! Everything has been just great! The shop is absolutely lovely, very unique. There has been nothing like it in Helsinki before. I pretty much love everything, but one thing I’m truly extra grateful is the communication. Minna is such a doll, an absolutely lovely person! It’s such a joy to be one of the Paloni designers!

Vietto Minna Kaartinen Neppari skirt in organic cotton

Minna's clothes often have a fun and functional clue to them - this Neppari skirt in organic cotton
has an asymmetrical hem with poppers. By attaching the poppers from the hem to the waist, the skirt
changes its shape and gets fluffy pleats of different forms.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I’ve been so tenacious all my life that I’m really not sure if I ever listened to any kind of advices… 😉 But I’ve got support whenever I’ve needed it from my dear ones.

Your words of advice for aspiring designers / artists?
This list is full of clichés (PLUS it kind of rhymes… I had my past in the hip-hop culture…): Listen to yourself, fulfil your own vision. Don’t let anyone bring you down, this business is full of competition.

What is the most memorable highlight of your career as a designer so far?
I wish it’s still in the future! But I guess by now, it must have been the moment I beat myself deciding to start my own label in 2007.

Please continue the following sentence: My passion is…
… to create fashion with a deeper meaning. (Note: a rhyme again 🙂

Design Market Satama

Looking for something to do in Helsinki for the coming weekend? If you’re interested in Finnish indie design and craftsmanship, then I recommend visiting the Design Market Satama at Wanha Satama.

The event is now organized for the very first time, so it will be very interesting to see how it will turn out to be. I must say that my expectations are higher for the visual outlook of a design event, but luckily it’s the exhibitors that eventually define the level and quality of these events, not the logo. The exhibitors list looks very versatile – there are many familiar names, but also delightfully many new ones.

From the Paloni stand, you’ll find a combination of the hottest names on Finnish indie fashion from POGOSTICK failure to Antti Asplund and Linda Sipilä, combined with distinguished skill of long-term design by e.g. Sarita Koivukoski and Jatta Lavi.

Paloni at Design Market Satama

A mix of drama and tranquility on Paloni's stand: The Hector Loose Turtleneck Dress from Antti Asplund's
Crying Kids Collection (picture © Antti Asplund), and Ruutu plates by Sarita Koivukoski (picture by Satu Paakkala).

Doors are open on Sat February 11th and on Sun February 12th from 10am to 5pm. Free entry!

Virta at Paloni LIVE

Paloni’s free-entry gigs by independent, interesting musicians continues.

Virta at Paloni LIVE

Poster: Hanne Huotari

Virta is a Finnish instrumental trio which combines textures of Scandinavian jazz and post-rock with avant-garde sensibilities. These barely 20-year-olds are crashing the barriers and blending the opposites with such a fearless and adventurous vision, that comparisons to the names like Jaga Jazzist, Supersilent and Nils Petter Molvaer have to be made. Started in spring 2011 and only a handful of fierce shows in their pocket, this exceptionally versatile group marches its own unconventional way of expression.

Antti Hevosmaa – trumpet
Heikki Selamo – guitar
Erik Heikkinen – drums

Time: Wednesday February 15th from 7pm to 9pm
Place: Paloni, Eerikinkatu 7, Helsinki

Experience the unexpected. Free entry.

For more about Virta, see:
The event on Facebook