What are your three favourite things?
Mikko: Lucas, food, laughter and love
Lucas: Mikko, carbs and coca cola
As children, we are conditioned to believe in the fairy-tale. Signs come and go; the knot in your stomach, the clammy, awkward butterflies that scatter across your mind. Perhaps what is most perfect, is the unknown. One boy who never forgot the depictions of a classic romance is Mikko Puttonen, Finnish stylist and influencer. When he met new beau Lucas, a German-raised Spaniard, 7 months ago - all was right and as expected.
The pair can be seen as collaborators, in love and in creative projects. Photographer Melanie Tjoeng captures their intimacy in a dream-like state; in frames that lay their connection bare. Body parts meet in a mirage of boyhood and tenderness. Styling the shoot, Mikko plays with re-worked tailoring and a 1960s sensibility. Keeping it strictly Scandinavian, he clashes draping cuts against streamlined suiting (all monochromatic, of course).
There is hope in these encounters. Two lovers meet, despite all streams leading towards different ports. Their story started the same way as most modern love stories do - with the tap of an Instagram post, and the courage to take their connection offline. Lucas was travelling to London for love of the city and ended up leaving (and coming back) for Mikko.
Crawling into the same hiding places together; they both shared the same adolescent urge to forget the mundane. For Mikko, it was a blue-haired, teen rebellion that lit up his small hometown in Finland – while simultaneously, Lucas was busy sporting latex trousers down in Germany. Like overgrown waterlilies returning to their tiny pond, they agree on the same ‘happy ending’. It looks like a small cottage somewhere in either Finland, or Spain (ideally both). Skiing on the icy lake in winter, basking in the golden light during spring. Either way, their real home seems to be built in one another; rather than any place, near or far.