After a good few months of missed connections, I finally met up with designer Minna Parikka
at the Last Days of Decadence, just before getting everything ready for Dress Up. We talked about teen style, Helsinki and vintage lingerie amongst other things.
❤ What are you wearing today?
The shoes, bag and jumper are my own designs. I have started making knitwear for my AW 09/10 collection.
The hat is by J. Smith Esquire.
❤ What are your inspirations?
I get inspired mainly by the history of fashion, I love the 30s and 40s, as you can easily tell from my designs! I especially like fetish drawings and shoes from that era. There is a sense of innocence and sensitivity in them.
❤ How would you describe your latest collections?
The current one's name is "Bedtime Stories" (SS 09). I used mostly lingerie colours, pastels and creams. I also used lingerie materials, like satin. Some shoes from this collection mix satin and leather, and the shapes are inspired by corsetry.
The AW 09/10 collection has a stronger silhouette, more graphic. I included knitwear as well this time. I enjoy working with knitwear as you can use a very soft and innocent material to create strong shapes. Jumpers are very figure accentuating as well which makes the naughty/nice contrast even more interesting!
The shoes will be following the same lines, and I have been using bold colours like electric blue, black and coral.
❤ Since you mentioned lingerie as one of your influences, what type of lingerie do you prefer?
I like antique lingerie, and more specifically Victorian or Victorian style.
❤ Have you always been into antiques and vintage style?
Yes, my parents have a passion for old things so I grew up in a house full of them. Second hand things, antique, vintage clothes, everything! I haven't always dressed like this though. My style evolved and will probably change again.
❤ What was your style like as a teen?
I have had so many different styles... I used to dress like a skater girl when I was 15. I had piercings and stuff. Then around 2000 I started dressing more electro clash, it was right at the time. I don't regret anything. I like experimenting with my style. It is more fun that way.
❤ What do you like most about London?
I have lived here for 5 years. I loved designer shops and boutiques. You don't find boutiques like that in Finland.
❤ Which city makes you the happiest?
My hometown! I wasn't meant to go back there, but now I am happy to be here. I live 200m from the sea, I can drive to the forest and lakes...
❤ Does it influence your designs?
There is no direct finnish influence in my work, but it is a calm place. I have a lot of space to think and create. London is hectic. I feel like in Helsinki you can fulfill your dreams, you don't compete or feel like you have to be running everywhere all the time.
I do love the pure form of Scandinavian design in decoration though, the colours, the shapes...
❤ Describe a typical day in your life
I don't really have a routine because I work for myself. I do so many different things! One day I will be doing admin stuff, and the next I will be designing a new piece...
❤ What is your design process?
I see what people think of previous collections. That gives me an idea of which direction to take. The design happens in my head first before I start to draw. It is a very personal process actually.
❤ Are you going to branch out in clothing one day?
For now, I am going to focus on developing the knitwear collection. No clothes apart from that. I am branching out in accessories though, I am going to make small leather accessories, like gloves etc.
I am off to Paris for a few days, but I will come back with some surprises for you!