In fashion, it has been proven time and time again, that what is old is new. This rings true for Finnish design house Marimekko, who introduced streamlined designs in the 1950s and 1960s exploding with large and colorful prints.
For the first time in its history, and to commemorate Finland’s 100 years of independence, the brand has launched a limited capsule of top archival pieces for Spring/Summer 2017. Consisting of the Monrepos, Linjaviitta, Liidokki and Korppi dresses, and Kentauri skirt, near-exact replicas of designs originally from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as 13 contemporary pieces that are modern interpretations of these designs, Marimekko has made old new again. Bob Cut recently spoke to Julia Reuter, Marimekko’s ready-to-wear designer, about this new collection and the brand’s DNA.
BC: How would you describe the Marimekko aesthetic?
JR: The Marimekko aesthetic is bold and unapologetic. It is a blend of timeless, wearable design and genuine handcrafted prints that makes Marimekko recognizable across generations.
BC: Why was it important to launch the vintage designs/modern interpretations of past designs?
JR: Heritage is such a part of the Marimekko DNA. As designers, we have access to and utilize over 3,500 prints in the Marimekko archives. Using archival prints is nothing new to our collections, however, recreating exact replicas from past collections has never been done before in our history. It was important for us to do this as it proves the timelessness of each Marimekko design--the fact that a piece can be pulled directly from 1960s or 1970s collection and still have relevance today is a testament to Marimekko design.
BC: In what ways did you make these past designs modern?
JR: We made slight adjustments to the silhouettes for today’s woman. We also updated the material of the Korppi dress to be silk. Additionally, we utilized the prints from the archival collection to create a number of contemporary pieces, including scarves, bags, tops and trousers, inspired by the originals.
BC: Who is the Marimekko customer?
JR: The Marimekko consumer is the strong, empowered woman--not afraid to walk her own path boldly. She is true to herself and encourages those around her to do the same. Marimekko’s founder, Armi Ratia, encouraged her designers to create revolutionary silhouettes and non-figurative prints in which women could express themselves and be active in society. A notion that still holds true today.
BC: Why do you think there is such a draw to vintage clothing and revisiting designs/colors/prints from decades past?
JR: Everyone likes a piece of history, something with a story, a one of a kind piece that not many can get ahold of. The draw, I believe comes back to relevance and how you can make something ‘old’ feel new by injecting your own spirit into the piece.
// In the U.S., the collection is available at the Marimekko stores in Palo Alto, New York City, Boston and Cambridge as well as select Anthropologie stores (including Walnut Creek), and us.marimekko.com and anthropologie.com. Prices for the contemporary pieces range from $35 (scarf) to $465 (trousers).
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