Focus Finland: Poola Kataryna, where odd means beauty
Not one for trends or high fashion, Helsinki based designer Paula Kasurinen sees clothing more for personal style and as a way of expressing one’s self. In her closet you will find a combination of fleamarket finds and her own Poola Kataryna items, naturally. The Poola Kataryna label offers ‘odd couture’ and accessories that embody the design philosophy of being timeless, oddly beautiful and locally and ethically manufactured products.
With the adjective odd being used more than once, I had to ask how she defines the term. To which she replied,
“I like oddness in people and clothing. For me odd means personality, unusual beauty and quirky.”
Kasurinen states manufacturing both locally and ethically is important to her because,
“I can’t see any other way of doing my brand. I couldn’t sleep if I would know that the products what I sell are manufactured unethically from unecological materials.”
As a designer, she wants to be a part of the product’s entire journey: from knowing the person who is making it to the type of material that is used, none of which require a heavy carbon footprint.
Having always been into sewing and clothing, Paula started Poola Kataryna in 2010 when she finished university. Based in Helsinki, between Scandinavia and Russia, it is inspired by both the modern design aesthetic of Scandinavia and the decorative of Slavic culture. Offerings are reflective of the weather during that time of year. The moody fall/winter collection is much like the long, dark and cold winters in Finland. With spring and summer bringing more warmth and light, it, too, is reflected in a more colourful and happy collection.
The top 3 Finnish things Paula can’t live without are: well working central heating, public transportation and Fiskars scissors. Her ideal day would be spent in the Kallio district, which puts on fleamarkets in the parks from time to time.
Although the “products are designed for those who love bicycle adventures on midsummer nights, weird daydreams and having a cup of tea in a bubble bath”- a pretty select group or how Paula describes the perfect Sunday in the summer- I say they are for anyone who dares to be different.