Leather Parka & Parka Trend



This winter and spring I have seen at least every other in the streets wearing a parka coat. Parka is classic coat type and belongs to garments, what have always their state in the wardrobe. This parka trend started in fall 2011 and now it has really shown in the streets of Helsinki, as parkas have been on a sale on many cloth business chains for many years.

Short history of parka coats

Parka coats were originally invented by Caribou Inuits, who live in the Northern parts of Canada. Coat type was developed and used by military of USA in 1940′s – 1970′s. Fishtail parkas were developed to the Korean War in 1948. The name fishtail comes from the fact, that the coat is shaped like a fishtail at the back. Fishtails could be tied around the upper legs to make them be in warm or folded up by using snap connectors to enable the moves needed during the combat. Parkas were designed to be “core” coats, what are alone insufficient to protect against dry cold. They were to be worn with other layers of clothing and that’s why parkas are big at their size.

In 1960′s parkas became the iconic clothes for mod subculture in UK, because they were excellent to protect smarter clothes under the parka from dirt, when mods drove with their scooters. Parkas were cheap and there were a lot of them on sale in army surplus shops (Wikipedia.org/Parka).


Parka trend

Parka coats had big presence on fall 2011 runways, for example Rag & Bone, Altuzarra, Jean Paul Gaultier, Philip Lim, Jason Wu, Mulberry and Alexander Wang presented their versions for spring 2012. Parka trend continued on fall 2012 and become the most trendiest coat for men for winter 2012/2013. On fall 2013 parka coats were presented by Just Cavalli and Tommy Hilfiger. Trend continued every year and became a huge trend – and this spring’s most hottest coat is parka. That trend shows, parka coats are everywhere in Helsinki now.

Designed parkas has been called luxe parkas. Trendy detail in parkas has been leather sleeves after another coat trend of last years, black woollen material with black leather sleeves. Above left in the picture there’s one example of leather sleeve parka without specified brand told taken from Ebay. There’s always lots of ribbons hanging from parka coats, because of the tightening possibilities and history of the coat told before. On the right picture above there’s my leather parka, where I used shoe laces as ribbons on waist and hem, because they last in use and have clean ends.


My leather parka

I made this leather parka with same pattern as I did brocade parka for ethical collection with wool lining. There’s very different starting point for designing into Natja K. Ethical Collection F/W 2014/2015 than trends, but for brocade parka there was parka trend on it’s part behind the design decisions. I’m still working for the collection and let’s say that it is “Slow Design” among Slow Movement, because I have done a lot of more urgent things during last months. The clothes made of remnants take multiply time to do than clothes made of normal pieces and I have made of it also a bit stressful challenge to myself. Slow Movement advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down a life’s pace and it is good to remember when I’m working – and not all the time to the collection, but for something else.

Above in the picture there’s the additional materials for the coat, bought mostly from Eurokangas and Stockmann. On the right there’s parts of the star shoe laces, what I bought a couple of years ago to use for details in clothes from Milan. I used them as ribbon of the hood and I had to add a piece of another ribbon between them, because there was only those snippets left. I used also broken recycled zipper for details on coat’s sleeves.

I had bought once a couple of years ago this beautiful green leopard lining from Eurokangas. When I saw it, I knew that it is special bolt, what is there only once. It was also cheap, 5,90 €/m and the fabric is 100% polyester, what doesn’t need steaming, watering or washing first, because it doesn’t shrink. Coat is made of reindeer leather from Ahlskog Leather and it isn’t this time of remnants. Making clothes or accessories from leather it takes always a little more time to think how to cut pieces from leather than from fabric, but this coat was anyway so much quicker to do than the brocade and leather remnants parka.

I’m very satisfied for the result. Leather coat lasts a lot of use staying clean. This parka is neat enough for using it to client meetings at falls and springs. The coat is definitely very me, black leather with zipper details and green leopard lining.


Natja K. – The Story Behind My Logo & Self Promotion



Sometimes people ask what is the idea behind my Natja K. logo and I think, that many more don’t ask, but wonder what it is about. I explain here the story behind it and do also some self promotion of my professional skills with the graphs, what I just did the other day.

My name is Katja Nevalainen and the first time when I used name Natja K. was in year 2000. In Natja K. my initials were turned around to be my brand, the label name for my own cloth collections, what I designed. Later Natja K. became the name of my own company. This logo above was designed for Natja K. Rock Fashion Collection in 2003 and the main idea of the heart, what a knife has pierced was taken from tattoo imagery. Back then the trend of the use of the tattoo catalog images as print topic for the clothes was only coming so popular as it was about 5-6 years ago. There’s my hand printed brand labels for the lamb leather and satin ribbons above in the picture.

I chose the font for the logo to be rock and edgy and the first use of it was the printed brand labels, what were sewed to the the clothes. The idea, how I wanted the brand labels look in clothes defined most my choice as logo font. The font was Adler, what is very rough and also kind of clumsy looking font, because there’s so bold lines in the letters, where normally in fonts are thinner lines. I tidied up the roughness of the font for the logo and modified it to be more balanced as printed logo in cloths. Below in the image you can see how Adler looks if there’s nothing done to it and below that there’s Natja K. brand label in use in the coat.


Renewal of the Logo for Graphic Design Use

I established my own company named Natja K. to make clothes and accessories under Natja K. label in the end of the year 2007. Then I decided to go to study another degree in digital media in 2008 and renewed Natja K. logo for graphic design use. I found the modifying of the heart easier than to find the right font to use with it. Adler felt too clumsy no matter how much I used time for modifying it smoothier and more elegant.

Now I have used Perspective Sans Bold as logo font for several years, but I’m not entirely satisfied with it. “The Knife in the Heart” is quite demanding logo picture topic, when you’re trying to make it look more formal and neat, but at the same time rock’n roll style. By choosing the cleaner lined font with it there’s possibilities to make the message of the logo to go more to that direction, but then again very formal fonts are not working with the heart. Below is the logo as how it has looked during last years.


Natja K. Business Cards

I designed this business card about a year ago and again there was a question, “What works with Knife in the Heart image?” In addition to Fashion Designer background I have a long history as doing every kind of fine art stuff and drawing, so I decided to use pink stains with the logo as remark for it. That made a card look like a business card of the visual artist, but I am versatile what comes to visual art and design. I wanted to give an idea, that I have had a lot to do with actual materials, paints, drawing equipments, fabrics etc. I was content, when I got the cards as printed matter in my hands, because the pink color came out from the print beautiful and quite heavy coated matte paper, what I chose to the cards worked well and felt good in hands.

Anyway, I feel often when I try to sell myself as web designer and coder to some client, that my business card doesn’t raise right kind of thoughts about me because it is so artistic. I’m very versatile designer and I have practical and theoretical sides in me very strong too. I have thought, that I have to design another card, what represents technical and practical sides of me and give the adequate business card depending on what I want to sell or even give the both of the cards to the clients if it feels right.


Self Promotion Graphs of My Professional Skills

I just made the other day a new info graphic CV to myself and here’s a couple of graphs from it, what I designed for presenting my professional skills. I wanted to make a graph, what again shows my own style as designer, what is very artistic, but at the same time logical and techical. I also wanted, that the style of the CV has consistency with business card and I used same colors and same pink stain as in business card for one of the graphs.


Klassiset muotilehtifontit



Voguen ja Ellen logot ovat muodostuneet vuosikymmenien aikana ikonisen tunnistettaviksi. Samojen fonttiperheiden eri leikkauksia käytetään myös lehtien sisällä taitossa ja fonttien tyyli on assosioitunut vahvasti muotiin myös muissa yhteyksissä ja julkaisuissa. Tässä postissa kerron kyseisistä fonteista ja esittelen ilmaiset vaihtoehdot klassisille muotilehtifonteille.

Voguen logon fontti on LTC Bodoni 175™, joka on maksullinen fontti ja ostettavissa esim. MyFonts-sivustolta hintaan 6 leikkausta/49,00 €. Bodoni-fontista on olemassa useita maksullisia ja ilmaisia variaatioita. Bodonin on alun perin luonut Giambattista Bodoni (1740–1813) vuonna 1798. Bodoni, joka kuuluu päätteellisiin eli antiikvoihin on kehitetty Baskerville -fontista. Bodoni -fontti kuuluu fonttien ryhmittelyssä Didone -antiikvojen ryhmään (Wikipedia.org/Bodoni).

Didone -antiikvojen ryhmittely (Modern Face)

ATypI eli Association Typographique Internationale (the International Typography Association) on kansainvälinen voittoa tavoittelematon organisaatio, joka on omistautunut typografialle ja fonttien suunnittelulle. Sen on perustanut ranskalainen Charles Peignot vuonna 1957 ja organisaation jäsenet ovat fonttien suunnittelijoita, graafisia suunnittelijoita ja fonttivalimoiden edustajia (Wikipedia.org/ATypI). Organisaatio on määritellyt fontteja ryhmiin ja Didone -ryhmän tuntomerkit ovat:

- suorat hiuslinjat ilman väkäsiä (Slab-fonteissa on väkäset)
- fonttien pystylinjat ovat paksuja
- suuri kontrasti paksujen ja ohuiden linjojen välillä (pystysuorat linjat ovat paksuja suhteessa vaakasuoriin linjoihin)
- koristeeton, “moderni” muotoilu

Didone -fonttiryhmästä käytetään myös nimeä “Modern” tai “Modern Face”. Tämä fonttityyli on kehitetty 1700-luvun loppupuolella ja ensimmäinen “Modern Face” -fontti oli Didot (Wikipedia.org/Didone).

Ilmaisia Modern Face -fontteja

BodoniFLF (4 leikkausta)
BodoniUltraFLF (2 leikkausta)
BodoniXT (1 leikkaus)
Didot (3 leikkausta, linkit kaikkiin löytyvät samalta sivustolta)
AW Conqueror Didot (1 leikkaus)
Dubiel (2 leikkausta)
Neoplanta BG (4 leikkausta)
Ellen fontti on hyvin lähellä ilmaista Onyx-fonttia, josta Ellen logo on mitä ilmeisimmin venytetty vielä korkeammaksi ja kapeammaksi. Alla linkki sivustolle, josta voi ladata Onyx-fontin ilmaiseksi ja muita samantapaisia korkeita ja kapeita Condensed Didoneja. Ilmaisten fonttien ongelmana on usein leikkauksien vähyys, mutta etsiessäni Modern Face “muotifontteja” löysin myös muutaman fonttiperheen, jossa oli paljon leikkauksia. Glamor-fonttiperheessä niitä oli jopa tarpeettoman paljon, sillä Regularien ja Mediumien eroa tuskin huomaa ja fontti on hyvin erikoinen, jolloin sillä ei kokonaisia taittoja vain kyseisen fonttiperheen leikkauksilla kannata tehdä, jos pyrkii hyvään graafiseen lopputulokseen.
Onyx (1 leikkaus)

Walbaum (8 leikkausta Didone-ryhmään luokiteltavia Walbaum-fontteja. Fontin leikkausten nimet karkottavat jotenkin muodin mielestä… mutta menevät oikein käytettynä “ihan täydestä” muotiin liittyvissä taitoissa.)

Muunneltuja Modern Face-fontteja

playfair_800Playfair Display (sivustolla ladattavissa 12 leikkausta. Playfair Displayn muodot ovat kaarevampia kuin puhtaiden Didone-ryhmän fonttien. )
Glamor (24 leikkausta)
Otama.ep (1 leikkaus)
Perla (1 leikkaus)
King’s Gambit (1 leikkaus)