Space Out

Space Out

>> It's all a little confusing time wise as I have just landed in Los Angeles and am looking at Huntington Beach from my hotel where the Nike US Open of Surfing event is unfolding.  It's probably even more confusing since I only just posted about old Pousada hotels in Portugal yesterday.  I'll mess things up even further when I leave for Stockholm on Sunday.  

Along the way, the latest issue of Apartamento has been keeping me company, making me yearn for a proper 'nest', a home that doesn't just have great aesthetics but has felt lived in, as all the places in this alternative interiors magazine do.  I'm currently ploughing through all the subjects, finding out meticulously what they do, purely on the basis of their absorbing profile in Apartamento, but I thought I'd start off with Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi and her beautiful home in Kuosaari in Helsinki, photographed by Kaarle Hurtig.  A mouthful so Vuokko will suffice.

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Finnish design/fashion fiends will know her as one of the most influential fashion designers to have come from Finland, one that doesn't consider herself to work in fashion but in design.  Her work for Marimekko will probably be recognisable to all because of one striped Jokapoika shirt that has become a design classic.  In 1960, Vuokko went her own way and started her own company, which I believe still exists under some guise or another, but here it is her older work – magnificent volumes of stripes, dots and sparing pattern – that has really captured my imagination.

Maria of Finnish fashion blog Biting the Hand That Feeds already made the connection between Vuokko's early work and the stupendous Jil Sander S/S 11 collection by Raf Simons.  Whilst looking at Vuokko's work, we can't look at that Jil Sander collection and call it truly ground-breaking (not to take anything away from its mastery).  In fact people like Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake have openly expressed their admiration for Vuokko and her inspiration.  Vuokko's work in the 60s and 70s seemed to pre-empt quite a few trend waves, which only seems to entrench the nostalgia-ridden structure that fashion designers work in today.  On a more superficial level, these dresses that blast out dots and stripes in bold strokes just feel incredibly relevant and perhaps in need of a re-issue, just like Vuokko's other calling card, the Jokapoika shirt by Marimekko, which is still available today. 

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Jokapoika

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Vuokkodot

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13 comments

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  1. Fr.Jona&Son

    2011-08-05 at 4:37 AM

    important design. and timeless.
    thanks for mentioning her, i didn¬¥t know her…
    greetings from austria to you!

  2. Fr.Jona&Son

    2011-08-05 at 4:37 AM

    important design. and timeless.
    thanks for mentioning her, i didn¬¥t know her…
    greetings from austria to you!

  3. Fr.Jona&Son

    2011-08-05 at 4:37 AM

    important design. and timeless.
    thanks for mentioning her, i didn¬¥t know her…
    greetings from austria to you!

  4. Maria

    2011-08-05 at 7:40 AM

    That’s so funny, I’ve been collecting glass jars and miniature Bombay Sapphire Gin bottles to do awesomeness with once I get that dream, nesty-type place of mine. Not happening soon, but I’m patient. More time to collect MORE STUFF. On another note, your take on designers rehashing past strokes of genius leaves me with a few questions, one of them being: will there ever be anything new-new in fashion design, or will it be forever trudging that never ending road of nostalgia, rethinking/inventing/interpreting ideas? Maybe that’s what it’s been all along… OR maybe we should start wearing the stuff in those cheesy shows/movies that depicted futuristic wear as everything in metallic, overly geometrical, and shiny. On yet another note, I’m so getting myself and my mom each a Jokapoika shirt and taking a photo together like the one above. I will ask nicely that she, too, look grumpy, but satisfied.

  5. disneyrollergirl

    2011-08-05 at 8:33 AM

    Re Maria’s comment, I got over expecting ideas to be new all the time. As long as it’s Right For Now I guess that’s the important thing. Everything is somehow inspired by something that came before, it just depends on the treatment and the timing…

  6. Birgit

    2011-08-05 at 9:41 AM

    beautiful pictures, great designs. i really like. Thanks a lot.
    http://romanticshte.blogspot.com

  7. Melissa James

    2011-08-05 at 10:43 AM

    Totally agree with disneyrollergirl’s comment – I’m the same when it comes to expectations in fashion. I could go to my wardrobe and find something from years back that could be adapted or customized to be ‘Right For Now’ – It’s all about being inspired by something that came before.
    Great pictures though!
    eighteengramsofglitter.blogspot.com

  8. DStone Magazine

    2011-08-05 at 11:58 AM

    I love the polka dot picture!
    http://dstonemagazine.blogspot.com/

  9. RIY_KA

    2011-08-05 at 12:16 PM

    inspiring, you learn something new every day with this blog, thank you:)

  10. Shan You @ Orchira

    2011-08-05 at 1:36 PM

    Oh yes, I have full admiration of Scandinavian design talent, simple clinical and stylish! Images here are just fab! Shan

  11. susie_bubble

    2011-08-05 at 2:10 PM

    Maria, Disneyrollergirl, Melissa: Don’t get me wrong. I’m sort of done with expecting FULL one originality because I’m not entirely sure it will come. Re-interpretation, reconfiguration and rejuvenation can be interesting too and right now, we also have a lot of interesting developments with fabrications and techniques. There isn’t really anything wrong with being inspired by old ideas because it’s inherent in a lot of creative fields. I would say though that straight forward rip-offs of vintage pieces (which you can often find in collections) is a bit skeezy…
    In this case, though Raf Simons may not even have seen Vuokko’s work and in any case, his work for Jil Sander was totally spot on in timing and in execution….

  12. Olive

    2011-08-05 at 3:29 PM

    Black and white will never die!! Love all of the pictures that you post today 🙂

  13. Sean

    2011-08-09 at 5:44 PM

    Oo, nice post. I loved reading about her in Apartamento as well, but didn’t take the time to Google her for in-depth background info. Thanks for contextualizing!

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