Ivana Helsinki & the moomins



My friend Helen showed my this video for the Moomin dresses by Finnish brand Ivana Helsinki on a cold Spring day in her home studio. We watched it three times on repeat, sighing over the dresses and the styling and the mood.

If you’ve ever read Tove Jansson‘s The Summer Book, perhaps you’ll feel the same. If you loved the moomins books as a child or as an adult, you definitely will.
Later that day by we pulled down Helen’s vintage Moomin books, matched the illustrations to our favourite dresses, & dreamed of which we would buy.

& then a week or so later, Ivana Helsinki got in touch.


& so, on a bright and very breezy day, Helen & I donned our dream dresses and drove out to Holy Island, inspired by the video and The Summer Book and the old black & white home-movie Helen has of Tove and her partner Tuulikki on their real-life hidden island.

It was cold. We laughed a lot. Neither of us are the comfiest of models – Helen can be a bit camera shy, & I’m carrying a few more pounds worth of cake than I usually do, but I promised Helen it wouldn’t matter.

and I don’t think it does, does it?

I love these shots in a way I rarely feel about my own photography. They feel right; we had fun; we snapped until the sun went down & we had to race back across the causeway to avoid being trapped overnight. The little white cabin on stilts is for anyone too slow to make it across in the time; there’s a bench, a camping mat, a phone & a bird’s nest.
It’s a magical place all round, really; little upturned boat houses, old ruined churches, singing seals and stacks of curious sea treasure. Very wild, very magical.

Very Moomin.


Helen wears Maria in Night Moomin. I’m wearing Louska in Jungle Moomin. You can shop the whole moomin collection directly from Ivana Helsinki here.

Ivana Helsinki are giving away 2x Moomin purses (one pink, one blue) to two lucky followers.  Just follow them on Instagram at @ivanahelsink then leave a comment on my Insta post, here, tagging two friends. Go go go, & best of luck 🙂
PS – You can follow Helen on Instagram at @helenstephenslion, and shop for her latest books here.