Friday, July 17, 2009

Marimekko Dresses and Hats 1961

In April 1961, Vogue magazine featured these dresses and hats by Marimekko of Finland. Marimekko had just been introduced in America and was initially carried exclusively by the Design Research store in Cambridge, Ma. Design Research was a forward thinking store that carried household goods, accessories, furniture, and now clothing from modern European companies.

The Design Research Store in Cambridge, MA

The Design Research look was the basis for today's Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn stores. Design Research closed it's doors sometime in the mid 1970's, but is fondly remembered by many Bostonians today, including myself. As a teenager, the DR store was always a favorite haunt of mine. Of course, I never could afford to buy anything, but I remember the colorful and wild prints of the Marimekko clothing being sold there.

Today, there are many Marimekko dresses being sold online that are advertised as vintage, but are actually modern reproductions of the vintage designs that have been made by Marimekko in the last 10 years. The best way to tell if the dress is vintage or not is to look at the label. If there is a modern fiber content and care label, you know you've got a modern dress. If you're lucky enough to find a Marimekko dress with a Design Research label inside, you know you've got a true vintage dress. Of course, all vintage Marimekko dresses don't have a DR label, but it is one way to be sure.

7 comments:

Suzanne said...

heyyyy, isn't that location where a crate and barrel is now? i always thought that building was unique ...

Deja Pseu said...

I remember Marimekko Madness (clothing, dishes, home accessories) during the late 60's and early 70's. There was a store in Ghirardelli Square in SF that carried a lot of these products, but the name is escaping me now...

Sal said...

Fascinating. My parents were obsessed with Marimekko cloth growing up - and I think my mom bought some for curtains recently.

Dame said...

I've got a bunch of vintage Marimekko from the late 60s and early 70s; would love advice on how to deal with the them...

Sarah said...

Crate and Barrel is there, but it was built as the snazzy new location for DR in the early 1970's. It was designed by TAC, The Architects' Collaborative, the firm begun by Walter Gropius.

DR used to be in a small brick building across the street.I used to go there when I was young.The TAC building was just a wonder when it was first built.

JackieBD said...

There is now an exhibit in that spade which is an homage to Design Research
Marimekko dresses included! See the segment on GreaterBoston.org (WGBH program) November 12

http://www.wgbh.org/programs/programDetail.cfm?programid=11

Marilyn Richardson said...

A wonderful jewel box of a building by TAC. I have a few Marimekko items from "the old days," clothing and bed linens. There was once a discount/outlet on Huron Ave. in Cambridge as well as the main store on Brattle St.

I had not heard of fake vintage pieces; thanks for the heads up.

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