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.