Silk Sensation: Photo, Carl Thorborg


Virpi Pahkinen is one of Sweden’s most original and renowned dancers and choreographers. On September 29, the world premiere of her new dance work Aajej will be performed at Dansens Hus in Stockholm. Aajej is named after the North African whirlwind, so strong, as the story goes, that locals are forced to fight it off with a sword. Pahkinen, who has performed in the world-famous library of Alexandria and at the Nobel Banquet, has a sophisticated personal style, both off and on-stage. Therefore, when I saw some stunning press photos taken for her upcoming performance, I seized the opportunity to quiz the Finland-born dancer about her fashion tastes:

What will you wear in your wind-inspired performance on Sept 29? In the press photos it looks like it is made of silk…is it silk?
You guessed right! The arms are made of silk chiffon and there is also a lot of other silk in terracotta tones, as well as some metal wires. The costumes we use in the performance were designed by Helena Thorsell.

Where do you usually get the costumes for your performances?
I usually rely upon Helena Thorsell. In early October I will travel to Beijing where fashion by Swedish designers will be presented in collaboration with a Chinese dance company. I will be a guest artist, and will wear one of Diana Orving’s creations.

How would you describe your personal style, when not performing?
Boheme chique. A lot of tailored silk clothing, some Armani from second-hand shops, and samples from prototype-collections.

What are some of your favorite brands?
Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen

Is there some type of clothing you especially love?
I am rather fussy when it comes to shoes, and Stockholm is not a very good place to find exciting shoes. I don’t mind traveling to Spain for a pair of good-looking shoes from Muxart. They aren’t sold in Stockholm, but you can buy them at Zio in Finland.

Where are your favorite places to shop? A favorite boutique?
My new favorite in Stockholm is a boutique at Artillerigatan 29, which has a lot by the Italian designer Ilaria Nistri. In terms of shoes it isn’t easy in Stockholm. The only place I usually check is My Shoes on Sveavägen.

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