I discovered the Finnish design company Marimekko years ago, finding their gorgeous floral Unikko design, but didn’t realize what it was at the time. I just loved the style and colors. Once the internet came up, and fancy things like “search terms” were for more than just database administrators, I was able to find more about it. Unfortunately, their products (usually fabric) were still too expensive for underemployed me.
Persistence paid off, though, and about a half decade or so ago, I got my hands on some Unikko fabric courtesy of someone at eBay. I made myself a skirt. The skirt turned out great, but it really still needs a lining. So… I wear it with tights or leggings.
In any case, there originally weren’t going to be any floral designs at Marimekko. In fact, the founder wanted the opposite. This, from the Marimekko website:
Maija Isola’s classic Unikko (Poppy) pattern was born in 1964 shortly after the company’s founder Armi Ratia had announced that Marimekko would never print a floral pattern. Maija refused to obey Armi’s orders and, in protest, designed an entire collection of floral patterns.
One of them was Unikko.
And in response, this from my awesome friend Timothy, who knows the Finns very well, having used to work for Nokia:
Finnish Cultural Lesson #24: How to Instruct a Finn
You: “Do not do that.”
Finn: “You are wrong, so I will do that and make it awesome just to spite you.”
Yeah. That pretty much sums it up. I still adore Marimekko, but never have been able to afford their stuff. IKEA has some similar types of patterns on their fabric, though, so that’s the first place I head when I need a geometric or organic shape fabric.