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Marimekko: Design for a Happy Life

Continuing the exploration of The Netherlands, Stylesight attended the extensive retrospective “Marimekko: Design for a Happy Life” at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, put together in collaboration with the Design Museum Helsinki, to celebrate 60 years of this celebrated brand.

Founded in Helsinki by the ever-ambitious Armi Ratia, the company is known for its large scale blooms, abstract compositions and unusual combinations traversing between traditional and modern, rural and urban, nature and technology.

Since the 1950s Marimekko has made an astonishing impact internationally, instantly becoming the world leaders of clean-edged fashion and geometric, large scale print and textile design. Impressive graphic textile design, bold floral patterns and made-to-measure clothing exploded onto the marketplace with bold expressive color and a carefree attitude.

Always connected with Finland, the brand’s products were associated with iconic Finish names and portrayed a renewed crisp-lined modernism with a minimal style which is so characteristic of the brand.

The aesthetic hallmark and ideology of the company was decided by women that included promising young progressive designers such as Vuokko Nurmesniemi, Maija Isola and Annika Rimala. They nurtured a progressive atmosphere, which lead to the establishment of a new lifestyle concept; Marimekko broadened its product range and included home, interior decoration and architecture.

The highly individual, oversized proportions and strong design statement resulted in a mixture of striking fabric designs, expressive fashion, shoes and futuristic soft furnishings for example. The Kunsthal’s exhibition showcases an abundant range of carefully detailed product design and striking prints and patterns that are transformed and placed onto simple silhouettes.

Marimekko, “Design for a Happy Life” runs until May 11th at Kunsthal Rotterdam in The Netherlands. – Mona Dekker

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