Many designers trot the globe to invoke inspiration. The designers behind Ivana Helsinki simply go camping in their backyard. The cheery, whimsical prints are originally inspired by Scandinavian camping trips in the 70â€™s. Paola Suhonenâ€™s designs are wearable and charming all at once. The collections have grown out of almost folklorish origins: â€śâ€¦the globeâ€™s most northern match factory in the dark uninhabited wildwood of eastern Helsinkiâ€ť.
image: Ivana Helsinki a/w 2005-6 www.ivanahelsinki.com
Browsing through the collections on Ivana Helsinkiâ€™s website conjures up nostalgia for experiences Iâ€™ve never had. It could be that the company is family-run and that the founder, Ivan Paolovski went on camping trips with his factory workers. The resultant good-natured feeling seeps into the presentation of the clothes. The first image for this post is from the Rouva collection â€“ my personal favorite â€“ which was shown at Kuusihokki, a period Finnish restaurant in Helsinki. I love this photo. To me it vividly recalls Twin Peaks, David Lynchâ€™s cult television show from the early 90â€™s. All the more so because, â€śâ€¦in the back ground you could hear melancholic 50’s Finnish music…â€ť.
For those of us outside of Europe, proximity to shops carrying Ivana Helsinki is limited. There are some garments sold through www.finnishdesignshop.com. It is also possible to acquire pieces by contacting them directly. Contact information can be found on the website.
image: Ivana Helsinki, loghouse lover collection www.ivanahelsinki.com
Ivana Helsinki is still very much a match factory, which goes to show that it is still fertile ground for inspiration. For them there doesn’t seem to be a desperate need to scour foreign places or cultures to dig up a theme for the next collection. They just go camping.