Beyond the hype // Tahti Syrjala

July 2010

Fashion is important to me for a very simplistic reason - I love to dress up, it's fun!

Tahti Syrjala 19 year old artist and dreamer from South Kerry (town), Ireland.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.

My name is Tahti Syrjala. I'm 19 years old and I live in a small town South Kerry in Ireland. South Kerry has only 2000 residents, or so! I lived in Cork city last year when I went to art college. There's something to be said for small towns - they may be horrendous and stifling when you're fifteen, but they really grow on you as you age. I'm Finnish-American, and my family moved here when I was four. I study make-up from home, where I also spend my days completing household tasks and reading voraciously. I have a slight eyebrow obsession, and enjoy surrounding myself with beautiful things - when I can.

What are your passions?

Nearly all lie within the areas of aesthetics and domestics. I adore make-up and the art of illusion, so much so that I'm studying it. I get to partake in my other passions daily due to necessity - cooking and baking.

How did you first get interested in fashion?

I've always been interested in clothing, I've dressed myself since I was five or six. My first real fashion goal was when I was seven. I started reading books set in the 1800's, or around that fashion era, and I fell in love with the descriptions of ruffles and sweeping skirts, and set about trying to procure as many floor length full skirts and ruffled blouses as was possible. Fashion is important to me for a very simplistic reason - I love to dress up, it's fun!

How does changing your makeup change the way you feel?

I couldn't say, because I contradict myself with my reasoning. If I feel shy, sometimes I wear my 'mask' of carefully painted colours and that makes me feel less vulnerable, yet sometimes I don't wear any at all because I feel it makes me too exposed!

What do you love about living in Ireland?

Not much really, I'm looking forward to moving away from here. I must say though that where I live, the water is absolutely fantastic. I find it difficult to travel because the water everywhere else tastes fairly vile in comparison.

Top 3 places to visit in the Ireland:

Well, it's quite the tourist haven. There are countless amounts of stone circles and mountains and hill walks! I've been to many, especially on primary school trips, but when your surrounded by such things all the time it's difficult to recall exactly which/what are the best. Seeing as all it is is normalcy.

Describe your personal style and its influences / inspiration.

It is quite fluid in the sense that I've never had a truly 'set' way of dressing. My basic style changes every few months. For example, half a year ago, all I ever wanted to wear was structured skirts, and now I don't really have any desire to at all - quite the opposite. I can be inspired by anything; a choice phrase, a colour pattern I see in an arrangement of food, a person on the street.

That beautiful red hair of it your natural color?

It is my natural colour, thank you! Interestingly enough, my parents ended up with two red-headed children, even though they are blonde and brunette. I do wear extensions sometimes, though.

Favorite designers and places to shop?

Alexander Herchcovitch and Burberry Prorsum, at the moment. My favourite place to shop is Topshop - I can always find something I like.

What do you skimp on?

Any kind of accessory - belts, jewelry, hats, et cetera. I own one belt and one hat, only one of which I have bought.

What do you splurge on?

Shoes, always. I have too many pairs, or is it not enough?

The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:

I actually couldn't say, because it would truly depend on the type of outfit a person was wearing. I always glance down to people's shoes, though.

A fashion rule you always break:

I couldn't say. A lot of ideas flock to my mind, but they are all quite archaic rules - i.e., I rarely brush my hair. Does fashion really have any proper rules any more? Anyone can do or wear anything!

A fashion rule you never break:

I suppose not wearing red and pink together, although I rarely wear those colours so this a slight slide-by of the question. I certainly don't over-accessorize, only under!

What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?

A return to the earth. Natural materials like wood and sheepskin. I find the aesthetic pleasing, although I wouldn't wear it. I'm not a huge fan of brown, and unfortunately that goes hand-in-hand.

What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?

As for menswear, I think stylish jumpers! I see so many men wearing either a t-shirt or a shirt or a hoodie, but never any good jumpers. With women, the perfect fitted shirt, be it cream, black, whichever colour. I've spent about six years trying to fit the perfect shirt and still have not succeeded - there's a detritus!

What is your next "must have" purchase?

The Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots. Although I literally just pre-ordered them, so I suppose that's my current and not my next! I'm looking forward to autumn/winter stock coming in, I'm sure I'll have more than a few new lusts soon.

Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?

No big names - just anyone who is brave enough to wear exactly what they want, and when they want, and not matter a damn what people think.

What's on your iPod / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?

I only ever really have dubstep, drum & bass, hiphop and dancehall on my iPod. Lately I'm listening to more dubstep - Trolley Snatcha, 16 Bit, DatsiK, and Bar 9. On my bookshelf/reading currently - The Outlander by Gil Adamson. I'm re-reading it, it captivated me the first time and I couldn't put it down. Nothing on the DVD front. I haven't found any worthwhile movies as of late.

What can't you live without?

Books. I spend at the very least two hours of every day reading. I don't know what I'd do without them, my main pleasure and relaxation source would be gone.

Who are your favorite authors and do you write yourself?

Margaret Atwood, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Michel Houellebecq, George Orwell, William Trevor - and the Brothers Grimm. I write some, poetry taking preference.

Next place you want to travel to:

I want to go back to Finland, very badly. My family and I usually visit it once a year, but due to various issues this year we were unable to go. Finland is so beautiful in the summer time - even typing about it is making my heart pang with yearning, as tragic as that sounds!

What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?

My favourite outfit is this Wingtip Heels. I love white shirts with black outfits, there's something so undeniably classic and stylish about the combination. My favourite outfit by another member is this beauty by Kassandra L - it's so beautiful.

In the year 2015 you will be:

I'll be 24 then, so hopefully I'll have a job, or be studying nutrition in college. I have no set plans for my life as of yet, as I am happy to let it meander for a while. I graduated from school very young, and tried to force life into kick start, which didn't work, and set me back further than where I began.

What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?

Never try and force yourself to wear something you aren't comfortable in. I would honestly prefer to see someone wearing a casual outfit like a tracksuit, and see that they feel at ease and happy in it, rather than a high-fashion get-up that they were obviously worrying about inside.

Do you have any secret makeup tips to share?

I have many for every kind! I always insist (along with countless others) that the most important part of make-up application in the base make-up - foundation, et cetera. You could have impeccable eye make-up, but if your skin doesn't look good then it will be overshadowed. Everyone's skin is different so it's important to pick the kind of base that works best for you - I tend to use concealer and powder foundation, whereas on someone else I would use foundation and a sheer setting powder. You should always use a primer beneath your make-up, as this creates a very smooth base and fills in pores - colour-correcting primers are also far preferable to colour-correcting make-up, as it is far less detectable. I could write forever on this subject, so I'll finish off with this ; try not using powder on your cheekbones, and leaving your skin's natural glow shine though. It's incredibly flattering and gives a far more natural set to your make-up.

Denny W. wants to know: Would you rather know when you are going to die so you can do anything you want to do or just live your life without knowing when and go with the flow?

I would prefer not to know, as I would spend all my days and months planning around this one ultimate event in my life - and most likely feel unsatisfied with myself constantly, as I would feel that time was running out, or I was not living up to my potential.

What should we ask the next interviewee?

Do you have vivid dreams? If so, what was your latest?

We want to know what your latest vivid dream was!

It was a messy nightmare involving elevators, corridors, creeping vines and trying to run away from disturbing people.


show previous comments

Julia P
Your name is appropriate, you are destined to be a star. If someone tries to sign you as a model, don't settle for anything less than $10,000 a day! :) Keep the great outfits and the inspiration coming, girl, we're all waiting!
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Meann G.
I'm one of your greatest fan! I adore Tahti!
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So glad you finally got an interview! Your style is great
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Musa De Lirio
she is my favorite girl here on lookbook, her looks are so pures and balanced, i love that she allways she used basic colors, she have a fantastic aesthetic sense.
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Alethia P
I loved it all! :) you're truly unique!
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Sorcha D
SO pleased they interviewed you Tahti. You have such elegant style! Giving Ireland a good old mention :)
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Marta G.
as others have already posted- i love your style! ;)
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Dana Lee
Tahti you're awesome! Gah, you're so pretty, I wish I had your hair and clothes! I want to steal them!! I love that your so confidence in your looks! Stay awesome Tahti!!
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Brittany A
i absolutley adore and admire the way you style yourself.
you're talented, and beautiful, and among my favorites on lookbook.
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Aja Bleu
wow. your really cool. good luck to you and your endeavors.....
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Laney ...
i was waiting for this
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Haide T
You are gorgeous :)
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Brittney Harris
You are fantastic! That's all i have to say about that.
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Sam A.
very enjoyable interview, neatly and interestingly written. I like her style mostly because it looks so high fashion and still looks comfortably at the same time. definitely inspired me. I just hope I had a little bit of her makeup knowledge, it always fits the outfit gorgeously.wish you only the best Tahiti!
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Dimitra Axillidou
Wow wow .. interesting :) <3

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Izumihiiiflower Tutti
WHAT? it's your true hair color!!! woooooow it's amazing! you are a lucky girl!
i love your style, your differently outfits are always perfect!
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Nia Fox
Awesome looks!!!!!!!!!!!
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Aimmee H.
Try the pacific northwest in America! (i.e.--Portland, Oregon) The water is fantastic, and the environment is overall clean to boot. People are very environmentally conscious there, and it's absolutely lovely! Lots to do, fresh air (compared to Southern California at least), and beautiful green forests!

Great looks, by the way, and I love that you're a bibliophile--me too!
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Debiparna C
the eloquent way you speak totally awes me..fanned you the moment i started reading this..i am new in lb..i was floored by your looks!
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Tuvshin T
omg listening bar 9 trolley snatcha DATSIK goshsh shes soo my type
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Frida K.
amazing :)
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