Downsizing/Upsizing
Update on Peter's Parkinson's

Marimekko!

In the 1960’s, Marimekko, a Finnish textile company that featured brightly colored fabrics and clothing, became a household word, sweeping the country, or at least Cambridge, Massachusetts. Architect Benjamin Thompson featured Marimekko in his iconic Design Research store, and it is said that Jackie Kennedy owned eight Marimekko dresses that she wore during the 1960 presidential campaign.

I hadn’t thought about Marimekko for years until, at a Cambridge cocktail party last weekend, I met a retired architect who had worked with Ben Thompson. We talked about how we missed the Design Research store that graced Harvard Square for many years and is now occupied by the chain store Anthropologie.

Our conversation reminded me of how perfectly Marimekko’s tent-like dresses worked as maternity clothing. (Back then you covered up your pregnant belly.) And how well a large piece of Marimekko fabric had served as a wall hanging in our Cape Cod summer house. I wish I hadn’t lost a photo taken of me in front of that wall-hanging wearing my full-length similarly-colored Marimekko dress.

Then on Sunday, a reader commenting on my 80-Something blog post about accessing and de-accessing mentioned that she too had trouble de-accessing. She said she was still holding on to two Marimekko dresses from the 1960’s that she had bought at the Design Research store in Cambridge.

The store is gone. The photograph is lost. But the memories remain.

Comments

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Gail

We had a blue Marimekko wall hanging in our San Francisco home, and used many of their cloth napkins in the late 70's. Had never seen anything like those colorful patterns!

Ginny

Marimekko still has a small store in Cambridge on Huron Ave....at least they did a few years ago. I bought fabric of bright red flowers and made a wall hanging for my newly renovated kitchen. So cheerful.....Brightens up my mornings!

Carol

Such happy designs. Even accessible to us out here in Kansas (suburb of Kansas City, Missouri).My daughter's comforter was Marimekko. I am sifting through old photos, but I don't remember taking any of her room. Maybe I will surprise myself. We are hoping to stay in our home a few more years beyond our current mid-seventies. Meanwhile, I have friends who are moving to retirement communities, changing communities, adjusting. It's a pleasure to read a blog written by someone close to my age. Seems most writing aimed at "seniors" is by and for those in their fifties.

Margaret Hamilton

Hello Judy from Margaret Hamilton. I found your blog when I read about your book in the Harvard Retirement newsletter. It was a pleasant discovery of a voice I remember well. I too remember the Marimekko store in the DR building when I arrived in Cambridge in the early 70's (southern girl meets northeast cool). We retired to Wilmington NC 12 years ago, but now have a second home in Manchester, VT. And guess what we have here? A Marimekko store! Bought one of the A-line dresses to wear to my 50th high school reunion! So our marriage of north/south and the pleasure of both views of the world has survived (even the latest hurricane). I am a very happy grandmother of 3 with another on the way. Life has been a good journey!
Best wishes to you and yours!

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