>> 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.
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.