Focus: Helsinki




Helsinki, along with Finland itself is often overlooked for its cultural influences. Situated between east and west, between mild summers and freezing winters, its Scandinavian neighbours usually steal the limelight in this corner of Europe. But explore a little deeper and you’ll find that Helsinki is rich with individuality and self-confident fashions that most cities strive for, as the residents are not afraid of making genuine, creative statements in the clothes they wear.

Hel-Looks was established in 2005, and was one of the first sites that documented street style fashion on the web. We caught up with the founder Liisa Jokinen.


How has the fashion in Helsinki changed over the last few years and which trends are currently catching on
Helsinkians are so fashion-conscious nowadays. I think that is something that has changed a lot. Nineties trend is big at the moment, as is the black-and-white look – you can even add normcore to the list.

What makes Helsinki fashion so different to other Scandinavian cities?
I guess it’s the isolation, both geographically and also language-wise and culture-wise that has shaped our culture and sense of style. Other Scandinavian countries are more clearly part of Europe, whereas Finland has always been a country between east and west. The Russian influence cannot be seen in the way we dress up, though. The fashion culture in Helsinki is much younger and therefore much thinner than in Stockholm, for example. Finnish people also want to do their own thing, they are not afraid to stand out and dress up in a distinctive way. They are true individuals. Swedish people want to belong to the group and share the same trends. That’s why street style in Helsinki is still more interesting than in Stockholm.

Are there any traditionally Finnish items of clothing that can still be seen on the streets of Helsinki?
Yes, fortunately! During wintertime you can see traditional Lappish boots and felt boots and hand-knitted colourful mittens, socks and scarves. Helsinkians love to wear Marimekko classics, like striped Tasaraita t-shirts designed by Annika Rimala in the 60s (if that counts as a traditional piece).


Go further

Leave a Reply