Friday, January 18, 2008

Marimekko Fabrics

In the meantime, something quite different: when in the City of Bath (in the UK) prior to finding or moving into my present apartment in Santa Monica, I saw the Tree fabrics shown above. I just WANTED them, although I had no idea what I was going to do with them- and so I bought one length of each design. Imagine my delight when I realized that they were a perfect fit for the two windows on either side of my front door. The outlook from those two windows (an office building) is not attractive. To allow light to infiltrate, I lined them with a very fine voile. When the morning sun streams in you get a wonderful Stained Glass effect. The two other windows provide sufficient
light for the apartment.

What interests me is that these fabrics are from a Finnish company Marimekko: these particular ones are by the designer Maija Lovekari. Now I first fell in love with Marimekko’s fabrics when a student in London in the late 1950’s/ early 60’s. A wonderful shop called “Finnish Designs” opened in the Haymarket. At that time, Swedish fabrics were very popular and they were all in rather musty dark greens and purples, whereas I loved- and painted in- clear, fresh colours. Here they were in abundance and in beautiful designs. I bought yards of them- making curtains for my parent’s house in the country among other things. They were so uplifting. I see they are still marketing some of the early designs I had.

Not trees, but the other Marimekko fabric that I bought in Bath was the Wave design shown above. I was fascinated by the fact that it so closely resembled a favorite Matisse cutout painting- a print of which I had bought in the Matisse Museum in Nice, where the original is. Again, I was lucky in that I had just bought sufficient fabric for my bedroom window. You could get seasick here: even the (old) Ikea chest of drawers is wavy!

Like lovely Santa Monica, my apartment has both the Trees AND the Ocean....

Design sponge online: Seeing a post about a Marimekko black and white Tree fabric used to upholster chairs prompted this post.

The fabrics were purchased at: Shannon, 68 Walcot Street, Bath.

Marimekko book
Design Sponge

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