Finnish brand Ivana Helsinki showcased her Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection at Bollare Showroom on Thursday, May 17th, 2012. Located directly across from the Pacific Design Center on Melrose, Paola introduced her Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection to buyers, fashion editors, and journalists.
The collection tells a strong story from designer Paola Ivana Suhonen`s childhood weekends in the 70`s, spent with family and friends in a country home near Helsinki. "In those beautiful 70's houses, homes of colorful wallpapers, places with turquoise pools, trays with heavy red candles, bowls of raisins, I spent my childhood weekends under the dark wooden table, listening to my mom and dad being part of those passionate conversations.”
Paola related how difficult it was, as Finland was newly free from Russian control, very rural and very poor. The family is very tight-knit. Her parents were Bohemians, and the sisters grew up with their parents' friends being dressed in wild, colorful costumes; their free-lifestyle gave the girls a sense of no-boundaries which Paola incorporates into her designs. Taking over their father's jeans business established in the late 1950's, Paolo and Pirjo transformed the manufacturing into the high end fashion look that it now is. Paola is the creative force, while her older sister directs operations. Their father, who still dabbles in their business a little bit (now retired) and the sisters' mother, a psychiatrist, also plays a small role in the business. They have a manufacturing base and two stores in Helsinki, with their flagship store in New York (251 Elizabeth Street). Japan is the main market for these designs.
The collection is rooted in two original prints: Tapiola and Kapiola. The names of the prints affectionately reflect and highlight acclaimed areas near Helsinki that have been influential to
The aesthetic of the collection. The collection offers a balance of heavier corduroys, delicate lace pieces, and the brands signature fuzzy cardigans made of handcrafted yarns.
Each collection contains approximately fifty pieces; this was an abbreviated collection. "It's all about dresses," she confides. As she approaches each new line, she relates it to going into a candy store: there are so many things to choose from, and no one has to have the same 'contents.' She takes her inspirations from what she likes, from art, her early lifestyle (Bohemian) and anything that appeals to her. She has designed very unique accessories such as bracelets, scarves and necklaces to accompany her dresses; one bracelet design she had manufactured by a carpenter! Paola is also very unique. She has studied art and is just now completing her studies in cinematography at AFI (American Film Institute).
Ivana Helsinki is an independent Finnish fashion brand. It combines rough Slavic melancholy and pure Scandinavian moods, the balance between arctic summer nights and winter sadness. Creator Paola Ivana Suhonen is a Helsinki born designer, artist and filmmaker. She is the only Scandinavian womenswear brand to be accepted into the official International Fashion Week Calendar and has been featured in several alternative projects that combined fashion, design and modern art. All Ivana Helsinki clothing and knits are manufactured in Europe.
Photography Provided By Ivana Helsinki.