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Vaprikki-Vintage, Finland

Last weekend I went to Finland, of all places: an unexpected first travel destination. I was in Finland to visit Riikka of Harlean’s Heyday, who I met/fell in mutual vintage feminist love with when I was in London last November. Riikka took me along to the Fintage Vaprikki-Vintage weekend, and showed me a most peculiar side of Finland. For all the sightseeing I did, I’m convinced everyone in Finland has red finger-waved hair and a wardrobe of 1930s evening frocks.

It’s a wonderful thing when two instagram accounts converge; a constant photo stream was happening, @-tags going wild. It’s also a wonderful thing when two blogs converge. Riikka has already written about the weekend here, and now I must show our pictures to the world.

We met in Helsinki on Friday, immediately scouted a perfect pair of 1940s platform heels, and went along our merry way in winter wonderland ridiculousness.

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There were burlesque plans for the evening, obviously. Much preening ensued.

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So then frocked up in a DIY sequinned capelet, I enjoyed incomprehensible Finnish burlesque with Riikka for hours. Actually I think the incomprehensible Finnish monologues made it all twice as good.

This was all in a Tiki Bar (obviously), so in between performances we sipped mai tais and worried about cultural appropriation (resources on tiki culture and cultural appropriation, anyone?). We also staged elaborate photoshoots, because our fashions must always be immortalised.

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Then, the simply DECADENT Vaprikki-Vintage weekend in Tampere. En route:

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Oh, there was everything. It was a dream vintage fair, with lots of everything at RIDICULOUS prices, and lots of pretty vintage people walking around in every era. MANY VINTAGE SIGHS.

It was so peculiar to see so many 30s and 40s ensembles in the crowd, more than I’ve ever seen before. Sydney’s vintage scene is very 50s-centric, so it’s so fascinating to me that Finland gravitates towards earlier decades. The hairstyles in particular were such a treat. So exquisite, ugh! I’m used to victory rolls, not finger waves. Look, Riikka and Jirina are such visions:

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More Jirina, because don’t we all want more Jirina.

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Look, I’m mixing with 1930s girls! And everyone is wearing velvet, so I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed. This was only my second outfit change for the day, too.

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I bought the most amazing 1950s party frock, you’re all going to die. LOOOK!

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It was only 50 euro. Actually. God, if frocks like this retailed for 50 euro in Australia, I don’t even know how we’d cope. It all got a bit hazy after the first frock, but I think I brought home three or four new treasures, mostly from Jirina’s collection, because we totally share a waist size. There were also girdles involved. More on this later.

I met so many fabulous people. Check out this gentleman in a  vintage safari outfit. SERIOUSLY. Let’s just appreciate him for a moment.

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There was burlesque, and then we went home, via winter wonderland Finland. Exhibit A:

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We celebrated the Saturday night of Vaprikki-Vintage by drinking rosé out of cans in retro underthings (apparently they do that in Finland: drink rosé out of cans). This is where the girdles became important.

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And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day. Neverending vintage paradise.

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There was shopping, and there was a Charleston class, and then a Finnish gentleman took me for a swing about the dance floor (how I’ve longed to lindy hop). No adjectives left because everything was just ugh.

I left Finland, and so it is that I find myself back in Lyon, France – which isn’t too bad, either. But I’m overcome with insane urges to spend all my weekends in the Nordic countries, because it seems to me that everyone there has red finger-waved hair and wears velvet, and that’s sort of my fantasy world.

So, good times in Finland, you could say. I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, I’ll try and console myself with France.

A bientôt!

Michelle

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