Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Finnish Stamps in May

Fashion, Moomins and the scent of a birch Featured on new Finnish stamps

On May 6th the Finnish will release a miniature sheet on fashion with five 1st class non-value indicator stamps. The miniature sheet features drawings of creations by six young Finnish designers who have achieved international success: dresses by Jasmin Santanen and Tuomas and Anna Laitinen, shoes by Minna Parikka and Julia Lundsten, and a handbag by Sanna Kantola. All these accessories are from this year’s spring collections. The miniature sheet was illustrated by Laura Lame.

Along with the Fashion sheet, two stamp booklets will also be issued in May. One shows the much- loved Moomins cartoon in one their adventures. The booklet includes six lst class non-value indicator stamps and they are illustrated with cartoon sketches by Tove Jansson. The originals are in the collection ofTampere Art Museum’s Moomin Valley. The other booklet features Finnish sauna culture. A speciality of the Sauna booklet is its scent: its five 1st class non-value indicator stamps release a gentle bouquet of birch leaves when scratched. Päivi Vainionpää is the designer of both booklets.The EUROPA stamp series of European postal operators will be continued on 6 May. On that date, two stamps will be issued by
Finland on the common theme, which this year is astronomy. The stamps bear a value of 0.80 euros. The stamps were designed by Johannes Nieminen.

High Heels and swaying hem Lines

Minna Parikka is one of the top names among Finnish shoe designers. Her highly feminine footwear is now sold in ten countries, with the flagship store in
Helsinki. Minna Parikka’s red high heels can now also be seen on one of the stamps of the Fashion miniature sheet. They are accompanied by beautiful shoes by Julia Lundsten which are depicted on the next stamp. Lundsten’s stylish signature wooden heels have won the admiration even of the king of shoe designers, Manolo Blahnik, who has called them “divine” and “perfect”. The wooden-heeled pump shown on the stamp is made of fish skin. Lundsten’s creations are sold in Tokyo, London, New York and other great cities. The miniature sheet features elegant accessories in the form of the Lumi handbag designed by Sanna Kantola. Sanna Kantola and Bruno Beaugrand founded the Lumi brand in
New York nine years ago, and today Lumi bags are sold in 25 countries. Fashion designer jasmin Santanen lives and works in Paris. This spring she unveiled at the Paris fashion festival a luxurious open party outfit, which has now been immortalised on a stamp. This year’s spring collection also includes an outfit designer by Tuomas Laitinen and his sister, artist Anna Laitinen, the rear view of which is shown on the Fashion miniature sheet.
This angle was chosen because of the outfit’s amusing “penguin cut”. A collection by the Laitinens won shared first place in the prestigious French Hyères fashion design competition in France in 2006. Today the LAITINEN accessory brand is sold in France,
Japan, Hong Kong and elsewhere. The woman in purple on the left-hand edge of the miniature sheet is a filler picture. Laura Lame produced the illustrations for the miniature sheet.

Moomin cartoons

Artist-author Tove Jansson (1914—2001) created the Moomin troll character back in the 1930s. The first Moomin book came out in 1945. A few years later, Tove Jansson began to draw a continuing cartoon series of the characters forthe political journal Ny Tid. In 1953, a mass- market British daily newspaper, the Evening News, took up the Moomin cartoon series and the trolls’ world conquest began. The Moomin books have been translated into more than 30 languages. They have appeared on stage in plays and operas, on television and radio, and on stamps: for the first time in 1992 and most recently in 2007. The six- stamp booklet to be issued in May is the eighth stamp issue on the subject of Moomins. The designer of the booklet, P Vainionpaa, chose cartoon sketches for the stamps which feature the most familiar and best-loved characters: Moominmamma, Moominpappa, Moomintroll, Little My, the Snork Maiden and Snufkin.Sauna atmosphere

“When I chose the pictures for the Sauna booklet, I aimed for Finnishness and the authentic sauna atmosphere,” says the designer of the booklet, Päivi Vainionpaa. “The first stamp shows a moment before a sauna. The sun is going down, there’s a fresh birch whisk in the bucket on the jetty, and soft towels await the bathers,” as she describes the scene. The second stamp shows the bathers actually in the sauna, and the third stamp depicts an idyllic shoreline sauna in its natural setting. The fourth and fifth stamps show sauna atmosphere inside and out: a sauna whisk bathes in the sunlight on a log wall, and inside the sauna the sunshine lights up the bathing place through a window. The Sauna stamps include microscopic scent capsules. When the stamps are rubbed, the capsules burst and spread a pleasing aroma of birch leaves.

The universe on a stamp

The year 2009 is being celebrated at the International Year of Astronomy. The theme year is endorsed by the UN and organized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO. The international slogan is The Universe — Yours to Discover. Astronomy is also the subject of two EUROPA stamps issued in May. The pair of stamps depict a fantasy landscape of lakes and different heavenly bodies. The left-hand stamp has the Moon in the centre, with the Milky Way on the right side of the stamp. The stamp on the right bears a comet on its left side, accompanied by a lunar eclipse. The large planet shown on the stamp is Saturn.

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