Pancakes and strawberry jam inspire Marimekko’s A/W 2022 collection

Wallpaper* speaks to Marimekko creative director Rebekka Bay, as she presents her debut collection for the Helsinki brand at Copenhagen Fashion Week 

Posing a model for photographs in Marimekko A/W 2022
Marimekko A/W 2022.
(Image credit: Lasse Dearman)

Helsinki functions at a serene and organised pace with little operatic fuss. The grey steel box of Marimekko’s factory – one of the only industrial-scale textile printing factories in the Nordic countries – is fittingly unpretentious. Here the design studio, archives, and wider operations hover above the annual production of one million metres of iconic patterned textile. Attendants wearing striped t-shirts crane their necks into whirring machines with a meticulous calm. Bulky 3-D etched printing rolls are stacked overhead. Bales of plain white fabric are transformed into ripples of fresh florals. 

During her first year as creative director, Rebekka Bay has focused on establishing a new folk attitude for the brand. She explains, ‘A lot of traditional folk clothing was designed to be layered. You could wash the base layer, the second would create warmth and the third would be about decoration.’ For A/W 2022 this outer layer has the pep of ‘Pannukakkua ja mansikkahilloa’, a print dating back to 1964 and originally designed by Maija Isola. With its botanic charisma it looks nothing like its name ‘pancakes and strawberry jam.

‘It’s almost primitive, almost like jewellery,’ Bay says. ‘It is a very different type of ornamental, which is what I was looking for this season. You’re unsure of its origin but it’s clear that it’s drawing on different cultural references. It’s very unlike Marimekko but at the same time it is very Marimekko when you start hanging out with it…

Trine Søndergaard is represented by Martin Asbæk Gallery

Trine Søndergaard is represented by Martin Asbæk Gallery

(Image credit: press)

For Copenhagen Fashion Week, Bay has installed an exhibition of portraits created in collaboration with the Danish visual artist Trine Søndergaard. The series entitled ‘New Folk – New Traditions’ builds on a shared interest in female culture and costume. 

Throughout her career – helping to establish COS in the early aughts followed by a stint in New York leading Uniqlo’s Global Innovation Center – Bay has favoured the minimal. ‘There’s been a lot of surprise around me taking on this role for such a print rich brand. But I’m using the precise shapes I’ve always been concerned with to create a dynamic where the two worlds meet. It’s less about the placement of a pocket or a pleat, what’s really important is to create something calm enough to carry the print – because the print is everything.’ §

A Fashion shoot of model

(Image credit: Lasse Dearman)

A blue denim dressed girl

(Image credit: Lasse Dearman)

Orange dressed model posing for shoot

(Image credit: Lasse Dearman)

INFORMATION

marimekko.com (opens in new tab)

London based writer Dal Chodha is editor-in-chief of Archivist Addendum — a publishing project that explores the gap between fashion editorial and academe. He writes for various international titles and journals on fashion, art and culture and is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. Chodha has been working in academic institutions for more than a decade and is Stage 1 Leader of the BA Fashion Communication and Promotion course at Central Saint Martins. In 2020 he published his first book SHOW NOTES, an original hybrid of journalism, poetry and provocation.