IVANAhelsinki is a Finnish fashion brand by designer Paola Suhonen.
IVANAhelsinki & Love Contemporary Magazine Pop-Up Store opened in New York City’s Nolita (238 Mulberry Street, between Prince & Spring) on Friday. The IVANAhelsinki store will be open in New York City only until March 17th.
I attended the grand opening of the NYC store on Friday, and wanted to share a few pictures from the store and the event. You can read much more about IVANAhelsinki at Skimbaco Lifestyle in my much longer blog post about the brand and the fashion collections.
While IVANAhelsinki mainly creates fashion, I was able to spot a few home products as well – the delightful table clothes & both fabric and paper napkins. The prints represent Finnish design, and you can maybe see some Marimekkoish elements, but IVANAhelsinki really has its own look that is very different – playful and airy, or can you find better words to describe?
The store itself represents Finnish Design very well. Simple, even rustic, and somewhat bare letting all the colors and the fashion clothing shine through.
Also, representing the finest in Finnish design was Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair inside the store, and also Eero Aarnio’s Double Bubble lamp in the store window. The store couldn’t get any more Finnish than this, and you gotta love it.
The event itself was supi suomalainen, very Finnish as well.
It’s actually quite interesting that there are a few elements that almost always are present in Finnish culture and art, however posh it may be. It’s naked people, often with reference to sex, the usage of bad language, nature, drinking vodka (well, often the Finnish equivalent Koskenkorva) and something to do with the epic national collection of poems, Kalevala, which was collected in the nineteenth century.
Like said, IVANAhelsinki store opening event was very Finnish.
Guests were pampered with Finnish vodka Finlandia, which is a bit stronger in taste than the Chopin and the Grey Goose, which the American fashionistas are used to drinking.
Partnering with a sex toy company created the shock value Finns like to bring in. The store is joint venture between IVANAhelsinki and Love Contemporary, a new lifestyle magazine just launched – IVANAhelsinki’s Paola Suhonen is the editor-in-chief of this magazine.
“The mental landscape of Love Contemporary is a unique mix of innocent Scandinavian purity, Slavic melancholy and sixties vintage sensuality, combined with a contemporary urban edge. Love Contemporary is frivolous but intelligent, easy but shameless, naughty and Nordic erotic cool” says Paola Suhonen.
While we Finns are a nation who doesn’t like the touchy-feely talk about feelings and emotions, we have no trouble talking about sex, and nudity comes naturally for Finns. After all – we are people who live for sauna.
I was also not surprised to see a picture of a naked woman in a lake on the wall. While she was placed right next to the “toys”, to me the artistic picture really just looks like a woman who is going for a swim in one of the tens of thousands of Finnish lakes, and she is little chilly after being in a hot sauna before her swim.
The natural elements and the rustic look of the store made the IVANAhelsinki store look very Finnish. My favorite in the store – the back wall with deer head art and birch nailed on the wall. I could skip the deers, but I would love to recreate the birch wall even in my own home.
Oh.. and the “missing element” in the event – I didn’t hear anyone say perkele even once. IVANAhelsinki gathered around Finnish elite in New York in deed.