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IIttala birds represent classic Finnish design. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

 When first walking into the Helsinki Cable Factory for the Helsinki Retro and Vintage Design Expo on Sunday afternoon, one is greeted by tables upon tables of vintage Iittala. Dozens of Iitala birds. Stacks upon stacks of discontinued coloured Iittala Kastehelmi plates and bowls from years passed. Moomin cups and mugs that frankly were as vintage as the milk in my fridge. But then, passed all of the usual suspects of Finnish flea fare, there was some really fun finds.


Prom dresses from the 70’s. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

Vintage Point’s racks of American 80’s sequin power blazers and blouses were begging for another trip around the city on someone’s shoulders for the holiday party circuit.

At over 2,000 euros, who can afford Balmain, but for a fraction of the cost, you can sport what very obviously inspired Olivier Rousteing.


Vintage glass frames. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

Vintage point also had pristine Saks Fifth Avenue coats and 70’s prom dresses that were absolutely fun and affordable with pieces well under 100 euros. For the lover of the handmade, there were creations to be found that rose from the ashes of cast-off vintage clothing.

Nea Krantz of Nea design fashioned hats that were 20’s inspired cloches meet knitted beanies that are sure to ward off the chilly winds to come.

However, the best part of the Expo was easily Helsingin Optiika Oy’s table of dead stock vintage glasses frames. Cache brands like Dior and Nina Ricci were found alongside boutique brands like Viking and Cazal. There were even never used frames from Paloma Picasso that somehow struck the balance between 80’s boldness and timeless elegance.


Uvex sunglasses come in various colours. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

But it wasn’t just frames that stole the show at Satu Kervinen’s table, it was the “West German” made Uvex sunglasses that came in a dazzling array of colours and shapes that would make any eyewear aficionado of the early 90’s drool.

The next time the Helsinki Retro and Vintage Design Expo comes around, bring cash and your love of decades gone by.