Always the floral flourish

fashion March 13, 2019 01:00


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Marimekko's gaily patterned and printed dresses are ready to be twirled in summer breezes

SIMPLY “Bold by Nature”, Finnish firm Marimekko’s spring-summer collection features splashes of prints and colours. 

The recent press preview at the Neilson Hays Library, hosted by the Tanachira Group, unveiled Marimekko’s renowned floral patterns, highlighting its gift for printmaking. 

Marimekko, which translates as “a dress for Mary”, has focused on liberating and romantic summer dresses. 

More than six decades after the firm’s founding, the story of the dress, reflecting the spirit of the times, continues to encourage women around the world to boldly express their personalities through their choice of attire.

New organic prints create a naturally playful dialogue with distinctive and graphical archival patterns designed between the 1950s and 1980s. 

Modelling the romantic summer looks at the event were Chutimon “Oakbab” Chuengcharoensukying, Thanaerng and Kanyawee Songmuang and Aniporn “Nat” Chalermburanawong. 

Most of the patterned woven fabrics in the collection were printed at Marimekko’s in-house factory in Helsinki, where around a million metres of fabric are printed every year. The mill serves both as a factory and as an innovative hub for Marimekko’s creative community. 

Some of the key prints, such as “Vikuri” with its stylised flowers in the Vikuri (unruly) pattern, evoke summer and freedom and encourage departures from familiar paths. 

“Viidakko” (jungle) is a design by Pentti Rinta, who worked for Marimekko from 1969 to 1987, and it’s characterised by versatility. With its huge tropical fantasy flowers, it’s like an invitation to adventure. He was equally adept at creating small and restrained prints or impressive, eye-catching patterns. 

“Onni” (happiness) is inspired by folk art and was among the first print patterns designed by Fujiwo Ishimoto for Marimekko. A master of many different styles and techniques, Ishimoto created countless hit designs over four decades. 

Composed of stripes and checks, “Tiet” (roads) is a fine example of powerful design that captivates with its minimalism. 

Lastly, the classic “Unikko” (poppy flower) was born in 1964 after Armi Ratia, Marimekko’s founder, announced that the firm would never print a flower pattern. Maija Isola refused the edict and, in protest, created an entire series of gorgeous floral prints. 

One of them was Unikko, which has become a story of creativity, strength, courage and faith in self.