I've done a bit of traveling over the last few weeks... time to post about it here too! First - South Korea with a stop over in Helsinki on the way back, a couple of weeks ago. South Korea was loads of fun. Interesting culture, lots of interesting history, beautiful landscapes (and Jeju Island, where volcanoes formed some amazing natural wonders) and so much fun just to watch people and to walk through markets and shops. Nothing by way of vintage there, but I did find some funny gifts for friends and family. The Korean obsession with beauty and looks really is something. I've never seen so many cosmetics shops anywhere! Fashion-wise - you don't see the crazy fads and looks that Japan turns out (think Harajuku, Lolitas etc.). People are well-dressed in general (and mostly dressing by the same styles/trends), and brands are popular, but you don't see a lot of big brand logos offensively shown off. Louis Vuitton bags are definitely out - you don't see a lot of those around. My guide book which is about 2 years old still talks about the LV obsession. I guess it just got faked too much. All in all I can say, it's definitely worth a trip, it's not hugely expensive, it's actually pretty easy to get around, the food is great (and you can easily skip the more exotic stuff if that's not your thing and go with their grilled meat, noodles and lots of veggie side dishes). If you've been to Japan and liked it, definitely do Korea too! There are similarities, but yet again it is so different. Seoul - absolute mega city! One of the markets One of the old city gates. Yangdong Folk Village - living history More market fun Volcanic rock formations on Jeju As for Helsinki, we went to the Didrichsen Art Museum, a small museum out on a green little island, surrounded by beautiful houses and villas - must be an expensive part of the city to live in, but oh so beautiful and peaceful! Just 15 minutes out of the bustling city center by bus. They have an exhibition on by Jukka Rintala, a Finnish artist and couturier. Lots of evening gowns, theatre costumes, jewelry designs and some paintings and sketches by him - pure eye candy! Here's the website: http://www.didrichsenmuseum.fi/exhibitions/ All dresses are one of a kind creations for fashion shows, special occasions etc. - made specifically for the wearer. Plus he did some costumes too for musicals and operettas at the Swedish Theatre. He even designed the set-up for the whole exhibition, and they showed the sketches for that too. Wedding dress This dress was made for a Marimekko fashion show. This was my favourite dress! I also got to do a little bit of vintage shopping. Because we'd spent more time than planned at the Didrichsen and then at the Helsinki Art Museum, where we'd wandered into an exhibition about Finnish art & design over the last 100 years (Finland celebrates 100 years of independence this year, so there's a lot of stuff about that happening). But anyway, I managed to get to two of my fave shops and see a couple more. Nasta is one that I've visited again and again over the years - such a lovely little shop, and the owner is always dressed in killer 50s style, with cateye glasses and all! And she's sooo nice. Bonus - in the same street there's also now a Moomin Café (perfect for a little stop!) - and the best ever glove shop (unfortunately closed for the summer holidays this time). Anyway, I bought this lovely summer dress, which I'd already spotted in the shop window! In the same part of town is Play it again Sam - Helsinki's oldest vintage shop (30+ years!) and also always a joy to visit! The owner and her staff are also ever so nice, and they've got everything you could ask for, including a large selection of vintage lingerie and evening gowns. You can see a bit of the shop and the lovely owner on their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/playitagainsamvintage/My mom picked one jacket out from the rail, and of course it was a fabulous 50s jacket that perfectly fit her! I got myself two NOS tops: I just had to have it - it's too funny! The original tag is still there - looks like this came from the UK. It says "Potter's Fashion Cotton - Calpreta Permanent Sheen Finish". No other labels. I'm guessing it's 60s, loose-fitting, no closures, small side slits. I love these loose-fitting tops to wear with black capris! And this little blouse - no tags, but clearly unworn. Beautiful cotton with a bit of sheen. It has a tiny lable that says "Aino" and the size. Aino is the most typical Finnish women's name, so it's certainly a Finnish product. I bought a similar blouse in black earlier this year. Perfect for hot days, nice and airy! Helsinki is definitely a good place for vintage shopping - and the shops seem to be doing well. There's quite a lot of them, plus the charity thrift shops like UFF and Freda. Fashion-wise, there's nothing you won't see on the streets of Helsinki (including crazy hair colors - pink, blue, green - you name it, you'll see it!). Individuality is certainly the word - the polar opposite of Korean style.