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Finnish Formula 1 wife voted belle of the ball at Presidential Gala

Yle’s television audience named Minttu Räikkönen, wife of Finnish Formula 1 driver Kimi Räikkönen the best-dressed woman attending the Independence Day gala on Wednesday.

Minttu ja Kimi Räikkönen Suomen 100-vuotisjuhlavuoden itsenäisyyspäivän vastaanotolla Helsingissä.
Minttu and Kimi Räikkönen turn heads at the Presidential Palace. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

More than 8,000 viewers of the annual Independence Day presidential gala on Wednesday voted Minttu Räikkönen, wife of Finnish Formula 1 race driver Kimi Räikkönen the belle of the ball.

The former flight attendant dazzled in a head-turning off-the-shoulder deep green full-skirted satin gown with an open back.

Fashion critic and writer Mirva Saukkola said that she was not surprised by the viewers’ choice, describing Räikkönen’s ensemble as a coherent look.

"She was incredibly elegant. The gown was very well cut and suited her. It was also a good fit, and there weren’t too many bells and whistles. What also made the outfit strong was that she had also carefully thought out her hairstyle, makeup and jewellery," Saukkola added.

Maternity dress outshines others

With just over 6,000 votes, presidential spouse Jenni Haukio came in second in the best-dressed stakes. Saukkola said that she wasn’t surprised by this outcome either.

Sauli Niinistö ja Jenni Haukio
Just over 6,000 viewers voted Jenni Haikio's gown as their favourite. Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

"Jenni Haukio has her own established style. She likes simple outfits that are very clean-cut. Everyone has their own maternity style. It has to take certain things into account and she did extremely well with that. She obviously didn’t want to emphasise the pregnancy so the front of the dress was rather simple. More attention was paid to the back of the gown," the fashionista noted.

"The live flowers she carried highlighted the themes of nature and the forests."

Viewers ranked Pauliina Hakala’s national costume in third place with nearly 4,000 votes. According to Saukkola, the theme appeared to be quite popular during the centennial gala.

Pauliina Hakala
Pauliina Hakala's traditional dress and natural style were a hit with just under 4,000 viewers. Image: Yle

"A beautiful ensemble, perfect for a young woman and a wonderful demonstration of respect for our national dress tradition. Hakala’s makeup and hair were very natural. Stronger makeup would not at all work with a traditional costume. It requires a certain attitude and bearing from the wearer. An excellent nod to our culture and cultural past," Saukkola commented.

Voters casting ballots via the Yle.fi app named skier Aino-Kaisa Saarinen’s gown the fourth-best of the evening, just ahead of MP Jaana Pelkonen.

Hiihtäjä Aino-Kaisa Saarinen ja puoliso Tom Gustafsson Suomen 100-vuotisjuhlavuoden itsenäisyyspäivän vastaanotolla Helsingissä.
Skiier Aino-Kaisa Saarinen was radiant in a stunning grey sheath with floral appliqués and a matching clutch. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva
Jaana Pelkonen
MP Jaana Pelkonen was radiant in a green-gold gown with a plunging neckline. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

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