I first noticed this goblet-like Maribowl (designed in the 50s) on my 2007 trip to Finland and I wasn't too crazy about it. But during my recent trip (just in September), I saw them in many Finnish households, where they collect as many colors as they can. I became mesmerized by all of the beautiful colors and how pretty they look all together, or served with sugar, tea, small fruit or candy in them. It's not your typical minimalist Finnish design, but that's what makes it stand out in the shops against all of the other wonderful and also colorful glass wares (like the famous Aalto vase or bowl that I keep sugar in).
Anyway, back to Marimekko... it's a Finnish textile company that's been around since the early 50s and made fashionable in the 60s in the U.S. by Jackie Kennedy. I love many of the new patterns, including some of the ones you see at the top of the post, but my favorite is the highly recognized floral Unikko pattern, designed in 1964 by Maija Isola - unikko is Finnish for poppy.
The Unikko pattern is recognized worldwide and I've seen it on everything from sheets, housewares, furniture, wallpaper, bags, shoes and even cars! Sometimes I get tired of looking at the busy and bright pattern, but yet whenever I see an item decorated in that pattern I'm always drawn to it. I know that Marimekko designs are coveted outside of Finland (especially in Japan) - I've seen vintage Marimekko fabric go for big bucks on eBay and I'm always amazed and wonder who's buying.
If you want to see/read more about Marimekko, I recommend going to AlwaysMod's Marimekko blog. They've done a great job accumulating images of the hip styles from the 70s, as well as great examples of modern ways the fabrics and patterns are used. The Marimekko Christmas 2009 catalog can also be found there.
OK, enough of this design talk... gotta get back to my favorite subjects of food, eating and gardening! Though I still have more to say about Finnish design... but later.