Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Marimekko And The Dress Of Many Colors

I have no idea why, but I'm obsessed with wearing print.  I own almost no solid colored clothing--I just poked my head in my closet and I literally only have 4 solid colored dresses.  If something is solid colored I usually have it just because I've got some outlandish print something and needed something to wear with it.  The problem with liking print so much is that good prints are hard to find.  It seems like most print fabric designers make stuff out of is an absolute snooze.  Stuff like polka dots and maybe some boring vintage-inspired flowers.  And then there is Marimekko.

Marimekko is a textile company based in Finland.  They started in 1951 as a clothing fabric maker and they started making simple dresses out of the fabric to show how it could be used.  These simple dresses became an absolute sensation in the 1960s starting when Jackie Kennedy started wearing them.  From then on, the vibrant prints became a clothing staple and companies the world over have attempted to emulate them.  Several companies have had long-standing partnerships with Marimekko, like Crate & Barrel and FinnAir.  In the 1980s and 1990s the company ran into financial trouble but was revived.  What really put it back on the map was Patricia Field started using Marimekko items in SEX AND THE CITY and so for the last 10 years Marimekko has once again become a household name and the rest is history!

And, I'm hooked on their prints.  While they do release dresses for Anthropologie, they also still have their own in-house fashion line that they still use to showcase their fabrics.  My favorite dress that they have available right now is the Tamir dress in black and white. The print is quintessential Marimekko--its got the folk art inspired print against a solid contrasting background.  Its classic, modern and cool looking.  The cut of the dress is great--it gives a flattering shape, is appropriate for pretty much everyone and is stylish.  I love the neck, that vintage style standing collar is fantastic.  Its a print dress that anyone could wear without looking like their grandparents drapes or like a snoozefest.  Love it!!

Marimekko still makes their fabrics for commercial and consumer use and in all kinds of prints.  Two of my favorite ones that are available right now are the Keisarinna Collection pictured above and the Kissanminttu Collection pictured below.  What I love is that they are classic looking florals reinterpreted in such a way to make them look unconventional.  Perfect for this spring!

Pictures from Marimekko

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