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Insider's view · Europe · finland · Helsinki

Insider's view: Jaana Haaksiluoto

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Insider's view: Jaana Haaksiluoto

Jaana Haaksiluoto (1975) is a Finnish fashion designer, a graduate of the Goldsmiths College, University of London. After her textile art studies, but still in London, she established Haaksiluoto design label together with her sister Päivi. The label is a member of a fashion movement Liike, which is a name of a shop as well and the very place where anothertravelguide.com had a chance to meet the young designer. Jaana herself lives in a lovely Kruununhaka area of the old city, next to the harbor, but her daily routes lead to various fashion, fine food and lively discussion locations across the city.

 

FASHION


Liike. Photo by Arsi Ikäheimonen (www.arsiikaheimonen.com)

Liike (Yrjönkatu 25, www.liike-shop.com) is a unique Finnish modern time fashion destination. Space-wise functioning as a shop, Liike is also a fashion movement, the first of its kind in Finland established upon the initiative of designers themselves in 2000. Liike unites several fashion labels and serves as a presentation platform for designers' new collections and as a direct communication channel with their clients.
Liike marked its 10th anniversary with a fashion show at the old cable factory, now Kaapelitehdas cultural centre, in the framework of Helsinki Design Week 2010. It was a presentation of the newest collections of all designers within the group, as well as the joint Denimalism collection where all the designers were required to use the same denim materials in all their products.
Membership of the Liike design group has changed over the time and currently consist of 6 Finnish fashion labels: Haaksiluoto, Dusty, Tikit, vainio.seitsonen, Lustwear and Tyra Therman.
Liike
cultivates active cooperation with Finnish artists through organization of art and fashion events and by commissioning well-known art photographers to provide photos for Liike magazine.


Nasta. Photo from www.eniro.fi

A perfect destination for devotees of the 1950's is a small vintage shop Nasta (Liisankatu 15). Nasta, like a time machine, instantly takes you back to the most romantic decade of the past century with its Marilyn Monroe style sex appeal, slender waistlines, fluffy skirts, tight-fitting gloves and diamonds - a girl's best friends...


Play it again, Sam. Photo from www.qype.co.uk

Another Helsinki vintage legend, Play It Again, Sam (Rauhankatu 2) spans a considerably longer period of time and offers a travel into more distant history - there you'll be able to find pearls washed ashore back in the 19th century. Aside from evening gowns, hats, purses, corsetry, wigs and other delights for retro-loving ladies, Play It Again, Sam has something to offer for gentlemen as well.


My o My

Concept store My O My (www.myomy.fi) spreads over three different locations. Women's fashion, represented by brands like Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, See by Chloé, Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood is situated on Aleksanterinkatu 36; menswear, with names like SNS Herning, Raf Simons, Moma, Mismo, White Briefs is situated on Erottajankatu 9, but design items are featured in a small shop on Erottajankatu 9b, situated in a courtyard of Laboratory gallery. My O My design collection, featuring names like Fornasetti, Areaware, Donna Wilson, Uslu Airlines, Lladró, Gense, Lexon, HAY, Skitsch, Acme Studio, Claus Porto, Menu, has been intended as a part of the World Design Capital program, so, when visiting events and exhibitions at Laboratory gallery, you might want to treat yourself to a pleasant design purchase as well.
From February 10 to April 8, Laboratory gallery (www.laboratory.fi) offers an exhibition "Think of Finland" by Martin Parr, one of the most famous representatives of British documentary photography. It consists of photos taken during the 1990s while Parr worked as a professor at the Helsinki School of Art and Design.


Punavuoren peikko. Photo from www.wearehelsinki.fi

Punavuoren peikko (Uudenmaankatu 15, www.punavuorenpeikko.fi) is children's clothing and footwear store, representing several Scandinavian kids' fashion labels, offering clothes of various styles and for various occasions - classic and sporty, playful and formal, plain and colorful.

ART AND DESIGN

Design Forum Finland (Erottajankatu 7, designforum.fi) is a store, info centre and exhibition hall with a mission of promoting Finnish design - a unique live and dynamic space in which both classics of Finnish design and works by young artists are represented; a condensed essence and platform of inspiration (the temporary exhibitions change one a regular basis) and, at the same time, the perfect place for gifts and some tangible memories of Helsinki.


Gallery Forsblom

Gallery Forsblom (Lönnrotinkatu 5, www.galerieforsblom.com) was founded already in 1977 and currently is one of the most important art galleries in Nordic countries. In 2011, Forsblom moved to a new gallery space in central Helsinki, designed by Gluckman Mayner Architects. The gallery organizes ten exhibitions per year, featuring works of both international and local artists. During the World Design Capital year, Galerie Forsblom offers a program of three exhibitions with participation of well-known local designers and architects. The concluding exhibition will be a show of new work by architect and designer Ilkka Suppanen. Through the connection of ancient technologies and modern forms of expression, something timeless will be born within the gallery walls, promise the exhibition organizers.


Gallery Kalhama & Piippo

Gallery Kalhama & Piippo Contemporary (Bulevardi 10, www.kalhamapiippo.fi) offers its exhibition space both for well-established artists and newcomers on the international contemporary art scene. Its interior has been designed by the best Finnish architects - Sari Kukkasniemi and Ilkka Suppanen. An exposition of Ilkka Suppanen's latest projects will be presented at the nearby Forsblom gallery in the autumn 2012 in the framework of World Design Capital program.


Köln im Studio. Design: Mari Isopahkala

Köln im Studio (Pursimiehenkatu 26 C, liminal.koln.fi) is a new and quite rebellious in istyle design gallery of Helsinki. Köln im Studio is in active opposition to any mainstream design, for example, hyper-commercialized hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas. An exhibition-manifesto "Red December", featured in December 2011, opposed excessive usage of red color that has now spread from Santa Claus costume to absolutely any Christmas decorations. The gallery featured fine, meaningful and old-fashioned handmade Christmas decorations created by young generation designers - kind of decorations that have been ousted by Coca Cola ads.
Liminal is a series of exhibitions to take place at Köln im Studio throughout 2012, showcasing individual works of younger artists created in the era of gigantic mass production.


papershop

Internet shop papershop (www.papershop.fi) has now opened a wonderful actual shop as well, located on Mariankatu 15. There you can immerse yourself in admiration of fragile wonders made of paper, be it rustling gift wraps, witty greeting cards or enigmatic envelopes... Among dazzling colors and diverse textures, you'll find also cute paper toys - the most charming paper products available there.

 

BOOKS

Rosebud Books (www.rosebud.fi) bookstores are located in several places in Helsinki, one of them being in Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Mannerheiminaukio 2). Worth visiting is cozy Rosebud Books on Mariankatu 21. Rosebud Books focus their attention on themes like intercultural values, political humanism, justice and openness.

 

NEW CREATIVE TERRITORIES


Suvilahti territory and Suvilhati boiler hall

Suvilhati (Kaasutehtaankatu 1, www.suvilahti.fi) is sited in Sörnäinen area, between Hanasaari power plant and Sompasaari harbor. A decision to build Suvilahti power plant was taken in 1907, using revolutionary for that time steel reinforced concrete structures. The project architect, Selim A. Lindqvist, was highly influenced by Viennese Jugend architecture. Suvilahti complex encompassed two gasometers and nine other buildings. Expansion of the plant took place between the 30's and the 50's, yet already in the 70's its operation was stopped.
In the 80's, Suvilahti plant experienced its first cultural project - KOM Theatre, and became home for a film studio. Today the old plant is managed by of Kaapelitehdas cultural centre, transforming it into studios and administrative quarters of creative industries while its courtyard serves as a venue for summer open air cultural events, like urban music festival Flow Festival, while Suvilahti Kattilahalli, or a so called boiler hall, featuring somewhat church-like space, houses concerts and exhibitions.


Kaapelitehdas


Kaapelitehdas

Kaapelitehdas (Tallberginkatu 1, www.kaapelitehdas.fi) is member of Trans Europe Halles - a European network of independent cultural centers. The construction of the former Finnish Cable factory was completed in 1954 and cable manufacturing continued until 1985. After that, Nokia started renting its premises to artists. Today the building is owned by Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo and the facilities are being rented to around 250 artists, have become home to bands, theatres and galleries (entrances B,C,D) as well as museums (entrance G). Hima&Sali café is located at the entrance C, but the Kaapelitehdas information center at the entrance C1.

 

RESTAURANTS AND CAFES


Cafe Regatta

Cafe Regatta (Merikannontie 10) is a simple and charming seaside retreat offering a lovely view of the bay. Wind and sunshine, good coffee and perhaps the best cinnamon buns in the city - all of that is available at the brightly red wooden cottage of the café.
You can combine your coffee break there with a walk through the nearby Sibelius Park and get a closer view of the famous abstract art monument, consisting of hundreds of steel pipes, devoted to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.


Moko

A new café Moko (Perämiehenkatu 10, www.moko.fi) has recently opened its doors opposite the design gallery Köln im Studio. The café is sited within the same name interior design shop set in a former brick factory. Moko market offers a variety of vintage design and interior decor items from France and India, while enticing aromas of coffee and fresh pastries is ooze all around.


Kolme Kruuna

The history of Kolme Kruunua (Liisankatu 5, www.kolmekruunua.fi) or "Three Crowns" dates back to 1952. It's a traditional Finnish cuisine restaurant and they say it still offers the best meat balls "pyttipannu" and Baltic herring in the city. Be sure not to miss the traditional Finning salmon soup with black bread and venison stew. While eating, feast your eyes at stained glass windows and original wall paintings done by well-known representatives of Finnish decorative painting - Fritz Hilbert and Emil Ruokolainen.


Cinnamon bun "korvapuusti"

Café Esplanad (Norra esplanaden 37, www.esplanad.fi) bakery is famous for its cinnamon buns "korvapuusti", freshly ground coffee, a special type of Japanese green sencha tea and herbal teas. It's a favored leisure time destination of locals, yet no peace and quiet can be expected there, especially during brunch hours. Café Esplanad boasts a long history on Helsinki café scene, being established in the 1950's a first city coffee bar. Nowadays it has moved from its historic location and considerably expanded by opening a la carte restaurant and a wine bar.


Café Bar No 9

Café Bar No 9 (Uudenmaakatu 9, www.bar9.net), a popular hang-out spot of creative folks of the Finnish capital, is an integral part of urban culture scene ever since 2009. A new art exposition is displayed on its walls every month. Café Bar No 9 is famous for its excellent coffee that you can savor either black and bitter or replenished with flavors and syrups of local production. Café Bar No 9 menu offers a wide variety of delicious foods - pastas and wok dishes, sandwiches and salads, soups and breakfast dishes - everything for reasonable price.

Kuurna (Meritullinkatu 6, www.kuurna.fi) is a gourmand destination of the city where enthusiasm and innovation of its chefs elevates any dish to a new level of perfection. Kuurna offers a variable menu, consisting of only three appetizers, three main courses and three desserts, and also a number of seats is very small there - just 22. Yet despite of small size, it's regarded as elite Finnish ravintola (restaurant).
Kuurna is located in the beautiful Kruununhaka area of the old city, featuring a pinch of grange, a pinch of bohemia and a pinch of Paris in its décor.

 

WALKS


Kruununhaka. Presidential Palace and Helsinki Cathedral

Kruununhaka, the 17th - 19th century district next to the harbor, seems to be the most beautiful part of Helsinki old city. The most beautiful harbor photos are taken from here. Many governmental institutions and Helsinki University buildings are located in Kruununhaka district. The most prominent landmark of Kruununhaka and the entire city is the Helsinki cathedral. The beautiful 19th century neo-classicism style church stands tall at the top of monumental steps, leading up there. It was designed by a German architect Karl Ludwig Engel, and his name has been given to one of the most charming Helsinki cafés as well. Café Engel (Aleksanterinkatu 26, www.cafeengel.fi) is located opposite to the dazzling-white cathedral and Engel has designed the two top floors and a façade of the café building, too. Inner courtyard of the café serves as a venue for summer open air movie screenings.


Suomenlinna

In just 20 minutes, a ferry from Kauppatori takes you to the unique Suomenlinna archipelago (www.suomenlinna.fi). It consists of eight small islands, five of them being connected by bridges or sandbanks. In 1748, a fortress was built there as protection against Russian expansionism.
Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a famous tourist attraction, yet nevertheless it remains a popular picnic and recreation area among locals as well.

 

SAUNAS AND SWIMMING POOLS


Yrjönkadun uimahalli. Photo from Helsingin Sanomat

Only two minutes walk from Liike is location of Yrjönkadun uimahalli (Yrjönkatu 21b) swimming pool complex - one of the most impressive examples of the 1920s classicism architecture. It is designed by Finnish architect Väinö Niilo Vähäkallio and is currently regarded as perhaps one of the most beautiful indoor swimming pools in the world. For many years, Yrjönkadun uimahalli was the only public swimming pool in the city and it is still among the most favored relaxation spots in Helsinki.
Nude swim is also allowed there, since working hours are split between male and female visiting times. Aside from 25x10 m large swimming pool, there is also a sauna and a café Cafè Yrjö (closed during summer).

The 1930's was the golden era of Helsinki saunas with more than hundred public saunas being available in the city. Only few have survived till nowadays, one of them being Arla Sauna (Kaarlenkatu 15, arlansauna.net), located in Kallio, the old workers' district. It's definitely worth visiting to fully savor the lifestyle of tough Finnish people, never giving in to bitter winters of this Nordic country.

03/2012

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