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.