Red sunglasses pop against modest monochrome worn by a stylish attendee of Helsinki Fashion Week - July 21, 2018 Red sunglasses pop against modest monochrome worn by a stylish attendee of Helsinki Fashion Week - July 21, 2018

The spirited street style at Helsinki Fashion Week is as raw and brilliant as Finland’s coastline.

The first things that strike a traveller in a new location are the points of familiarity. Right away in Finland, we noticed delicate floral motifs, clean cuts, and a practical yet playful sensibility that reminded us of Fashion Weeks in neighboring Scandinavia — Sweden and Denmark, specifically.

But the more we’ve seen, the clearer it is that Helsinki’s style set has a sense of humor all its own. Eclectic and expressive, it’s both the big picture and the little details that count in every one of the outfits that caught our eye.

The Finnish capital city’s Baltic coast provided a brutally beautiful backdrop for trends that we’ve been seeing all around the world. Gucci bags, colorful tinted sunnies, and berets were in supply. So were shaved heads and buzzcuts for women. More unexpectedly, let us state for the record that we have never been anyplace that such long hair is so in for men! Looking good, Helsinki fashionistos.

True, there was a lot of the sort of minimalism that is Scandinavian style is so widely credited with perfecting. But there was also a lot of rulebreaking going on: deliberate subversion of the expectations that the world might have of typical Nordic fashion. We’re talking edgy leather, metal hardware, and bold bursts of color similar to what we’ve seen in Stockholm and Copenhagen in recent seasons.

An experimental approach to streetwear formed a major undercurrent, with snazzy sneakers showing up alongside athletic pieces from Adidas and Y-3.

These statements added variety to a base of easy casualwear with a seaside vibe, albeit suited for a colder clime. Nautical notes were subtle and unobtrusive while the mood was relaxed overall, though at times angsty and definitely a little tongue-in-cheek.

Headcoverings included hijabs as well as hoodies, with athleisure comfortably finding a place on the sidewalks of Helsinki. One chic showgoer opted for a striking monochrome color scheme, letting the red stripes of her sporty pants pop along with matching cherry shades.

Stay tuned for more street style from Finland’s premiere fashion event, not to mention the world’s first-ever 100% sustainable Fashion Week. — jas