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.

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  • vorbelutr ioperbir

  • August 05, 2023

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  • Sara Tasker

  • July 11, 2015

Looking back at these pictures, I’m struggling to believe it was really that cold. We look quite comfortable really! Ha!
You can’t cringe, you’re wonderful in every picture. Ask Gerry and Frieda, be they agree. & Peggy too! x

  • Helen Stephens

  • July 11, 2015

We froze to death, but it was so much fun! I slightly cringe at pics of me, but you did a good job Sara! Great blog post!

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 10, 2015

Well, if you insist! 😉 Thanks love x

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 10, 2015

Thanks Vanda. Yep, the whole collection is totally Finnishly swoon-worthy! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 10, 2015

Oh, thank you Sarah, you lovely thing x

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 10, 2015

Hahaha! Oh yes, perhaps even kept in a glass display case and only taken out when all children and sticky things are out of the house? It sounds gorgeous.

  • Minnado

  • July 08, 2015

Lovely pictures and dresses. I’m a long-time tove jansson fan, I was recently given a moomin cushion which is suede, non machine washable and has to be Hidden from Children Forever.

  • Sarah

  • July 08, 2015

These shots are stunning! Lovely dresses and you both look gorgeous 🙂

  • Vanda

  • July 08, 2015

Love the mood in these photos. Also, swooning over those dresses now,

Vanda //

  • mascara & mud

  • July 08, 2015

Loving the photography, you both look gorgeous. Now go eat more cake 😉

  • Sheona

  • July 08, 2015

I loved Holy Island as s child. It feels so magical! Watching Vikings as an adult has spoiled it for me slightly…

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