Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Design icons: Marimekko

I was introduced to the funky designs of Marimekko when I was living in Helsinki. It seemed that everybody was wearing Marimekko in Finland (guys included) or turning their fabrics into curtains and table cloths. In Finland, you can buy Marimekko-covered lamp shades, mouse pads, bean bags and even disposable cups and napkins. And what's more, it's no where near as expensive in Finland as it is here in Australia. Marimekko has enjoyed a bit of a cult following of late and many of the most popular retro prints from the 50s and 60s are being re-released to satisfy the taste of design affecionados. I'm constantly hanging out for each season's instalment of new and re-released prints. Last year, I was coveting the re-released paaryna print depicting giant pears. The print was designed by Marja Isola and was originally released in 1969. I first laid my eyes on paaryna at an exhibition of Isola's prints at the Design Museum in Helsinki and, fortunately for me, I managed to buy myself a paaryna tea towel on a recent visit to the National Gallery of Australia (of all places). I'm also kinda liking the zen-like landscape design of 'Ho Hoi!" by Maija Louekari from 2004. What do you think?

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