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Help Verifying Early 70s Marimekko Dress?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Show and Tell - Share your treasures' started by Zoe Lane, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. Zoe Lane

    Zoe Lane Registered Guest

    Hello friends,

    I was lucky enough to run into what looks like a genuine, iconic print Marimekko dress. I looked at the label resource here on VFG and was unable to discern if what I have is an original make or a re-make using Marimekko vintage fabric. If I can figure it out (this is my first post here!) I will upload some photos. on the dress itself, it states the print name, along with Maya Isola, and a date in 1972, which looks like part of the print. However, where there would be a label in the back of the dress, there is something that looks like a stamp next to the zipper that says "Marimekko OY 1973 Suomi - Finland"

    Do I have an original Marimekko Dress manufactured in 1973 using fabric from a 1972 collection? Is it missing a label? Does anyone know how much it might be worth? I'm considering keeping it for my collection but I also might like to sell and I don't want to be misleading in anyway about what it is or what it is worth. I would very much appreciate your expertise and weigh-in. Thank you! -Zoe

    Attached Files:

  2. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hi and welcome to the forums. This is a lovely find! Do you have any close-up images of the seams and fabric edges? I can see a little in the first image - is that a zig zag stitch? I suspect that it's a home made dress. Marimekko sells also fabric as you probably know, and they keep re-releasing old designs in new colorways. However, the copyright printed on the selvedge of the fabric is always the year of the original copyright. As far as I know, any commercially produced Marimekko item would have some kind of label, and I do so far not know of any instance where that selvedge print would show in such an item. However, home sewers sometimes like to let it show so that one would know it was a Marimekko fabric.

    As for values, we cannot give any here on our forums unfortunately.

    What I can tell you is the name of your print, it's called Anemone by Maija Isola, and you can look it up here: http://marimekko.kokoelma.fi/ - just search for the designer Maija Isola, 1970s and flower print :).
  3. Zoe Lane

    Zoe Lane Registered Guest

    Hi Midge,

    Thanks for the welcome and for your input! I do appreciate it so much. I suspect you are right, that it is hand sewn. The bottom hemline is sewn with a straight stitch and there is a white ribbon sewn around the inside of the hem. I see cross stitching under the arms. So what I'm probably looking at is a dress made with vintage 1973 Marimekko fabric, just not made by Marimekko and who knows when. :)
    Either way, I'm delighted to have this iconic print and such a lovely dress. Thanks again for your help! Take good care, Zoe
  4. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well, the fabric could also be newer - the 1973 copyright means only that this particular print was introduced then, but the fabric itself could be of later production :). That's one thing that I personally love about them - seeing prints I already know in new colorways, though that makes dating things hard sometimes. Marimekko fabric is fantastic quality and well worth the money it costs. I have sewn myself numerous items from Marimekko fabric. You can literally wash and wear it forever (and it's also very nice work with for sewing). If I found a dress like yours and it fit me, I would definitely keep it!
    Zoe Lane likes this.
  5. northstarvintage

    northstarvintage Administrator Staff Member

    Oh I just love that! It's so wearable.
    Zoe Lane likes this.
  6. Zoe Lane

    Zoe Lane Registered Guest

    Thank you!!! One last question-- So why does it say 1972 where it says the Maija Isola's name? I'm confused by the two dates on the fabric! again, I so appreciate you sharing your wisdom and enthusiasm. The dress unfortunately does not fit me, and I'm not quite handy enough with my sewing yet to feel comfortable altering the dress -- plus I'd be terrified to damage or lose any of the beautiful fabric. With gratitude, Zoe
  7. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    I think the thing with the 1972 date is a part of the fabric design. I have a book about Maija Isola and the fabric design of your dress is actually in there, but I found it only now because it wasn't referenced in the index, for whatever reason. I was also not able to read everything because it's some kind of handwriting that was incorporated into the fabric design. Anyway, what I found out is that Maija Isola spent most of her time in Algeria in the years 1971-74, where she lived in a place called Ain-El-Turc, which is near Oran.
    That bit of writing says "Fête de Casim (? not sure I read the last bit right), 4.3.72 Ain-El-Turc, Maija Isola" . Fête means party or celebration, so it seems to me this print relates to maybe an event on that date that inspired her to design this flower print or that she designed it remembering this. 1973 is the copyright date on the selvedge, so the year that Marimekko had it copyrighted and I guess that it was printed the first time. From what I read, Isola hat to leave Algeria regularly to get her visa renewed, and in winters travelled back to Finland with her new designs and art works. So maybe she might have taken some time after the fact to design this, then later taken it back to Finland, and for Marimekko to translate the design to the fabric print and produce the actual fabric, would all have taken it's time I guess - at least to me this makes sense this way.
  8. Zoe Lane

    Zoe Lane Registered Guest

    Wow, thanks so much for this thorough response! I really appreciate it. So much to learn. Take good care!

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