As the designer behind Finnish clothing label IVANAhelsinki and the editor-in-chief of erotic art rag Love Contemporary, Paola Suhonen is bringing sex, love, fashion and magazines to a new pop-up shop on Mulberry Street.
Her brand of airy feminine separates is inspired by relaxed Nordic style and everyday moments of unexpected beauty. Last year, for instance, while admiring a couple strolling the Brooklyn Bridge hand-in-hand, she glimpsed faded chain tattoos circling both of their wrists. And so, the chainlink emerged as the IVANAhelsinki Fall 2010 collection motif -- on jersey-printed silk, cotton bodysuits, sateen velvet babydoll dresses, brass-colored knits -- and in the form of gigantic structured scarves.
While the IVANAhelsinki fashion is featured toward the back of the 2,000-square foot space, Love Contemporary has its own niche carved right up front up. The magazine explores modern love -- bringing "innocent Scandinavian purity, Slavic melancholy and sixties vintage sensuality" to today's perspectives on the subject. Beyond the Love Contemporary art installation and printed copies for purchase, the magazine is selling a selection of sleek "love toys" and accessories, ranging from $35 Love Lips to a $1500 18K gold-plated YVA clitoral massager by Lelo.
Before departing the shop for sexy times, though, stick around for one of their evening events. From live music to poetry readings and art performances, the IVANAhelsinki & Love Contemporary pop-up will be hosting creative happenings throughout its one-month run. When we stopped in last Friday before the opening event, singer-songwriter Alexa Wilding was preparing her evening's enchanting performance -- and there are many lovely events to come.
Photos by Rebecca Prusinowski