Käärijä tapped this emerging Finnish designer for the “party troll” looks in his new music video

By Linnéa Pesonen

Photo: @paidatonriehuja

As soon as we saw the music video for Käärijä's new song 'Ruoska', we had to know more about the crazy looks

Fans of Käärijä, the Finnish Eurovision sensation, have been blessed with a bunch of exciting news, all within a week. First, the artist announced he’ll be making his Helsinki spring gig – the only one he’s doing, mind you – bigger than planned. Then, over the weekend, he released his much-teased new song, ‘Ruoska’ ('Whip'), featuring singer Erika Vikman, which is already topping the charts in Finland. A couple of days later, the music video for the explosive track dropped, giving us yet another reason why Käärijä came so close to snatching the Eurovision win last year.


In the clip, directed by Viivi Huuska, the creative director behind three of Zara Larsson’s music videos, Käärijä and Vikman are seen swaying on a circle of dirt, surrounded by nothing but pitch-black darkness. Soon, a group of raven-clad people with their phones out gather around the circle, eagerly tapping away insults directed at the singers, which pop up on the screen. The video reflects the song, which is all about handling the online hate comments many artists face.

Both singers were styled by Minttu Vesala, wearing head-to-toe shimmering silver creations courtesy of Leevi Ikäheimo, an emerging Finnish designer previously profiled by Vogue Scandinavia. “The outfits are from my collection ‘No Pain No Glamour’,” Ikäheimo says. “I made them for last October’s Hyères Festival, where I was one of the finalists. In a nutshell, the collection is about poppers-taking, steroid-filled party trolls,” he says.

Fitting for his flamboyant character, Käärijä sports a knitted Lurex bomber jacket and sweatpants, both adorned with jutting spikes – a silhouette that has become a signature in Ikäheimo’s designs. “The garments’ base is made of reflective material, hence why they shine bright when the flash hits them,” Ikäheimo explains. Meanwhile, Vikman’s look has been crafted from crinkled denim, pressed with holographic foil. To imitate the human form, Ikäheimo created patterns that achieve a muscular look. Complementing their outlandish ensembles, the singers’ faces have been painted with makeup that transforms them into alien-esque creatures.

“Both [Käärijä and Vikman] dare to try new things, which is refreshing in the Finnish pop music scene,” Ikäheimo says. “Neither seem to take themselves too seriously, which I love.” The designer has also dressed Käärijä before, when he created a revamped version of the artist’s famous poison green bolero. “I spent my youth watching MTV and Voice after school, and I feel music videos are an important art form and the maintainers of pop culture – it’s great that my looks ended up in such a banger of a video,” Ikäheimo says. “Although it seems that they were boiling in the garments, as they were returned soaking wet,” he laughs.