Early in our friendship, Liz and I realised we had many things in common. To begin with, we are both teachers, we have an (un)healthy love of coffee, shoes and more coffee and we are fascinated by our new home city of Jakarta (hence this blog!). But perhaps the most exciting thing that I discovered early in the piece was our shared love of Marimekko (if you are thinking, Mari – what?? stop now and scroll to the bottom of this story for enlightenment!). This mutual love of Finnish textiles came to light when Liz invited me to her house for coffee (of course!) and I observed the Marimekko fabrics which adorn her walls. I’ve long been a fan of the gorgeous, bold and striking design of Marimekko, so of course I asked Liz where she had purchased her pieces. Much to my bitter disappointment, she declared that she had purchased the fabric in Sydney, Australia and then brought it back to Jakarta.
At that point in time, the only trace of Marimekko merchandise that I had been able to find in Jakarta was a range of clothing by Banana Republic. Unfortunately I was a bit slow off the mark and by the time I descended upon the store, a stampede of others had beaten me to most of the best pieces (although I did manage to score a cute polka-dotted Marimekko dress).
Then through the wonder that is social media, I learnt that during my absence, Melbourne’s CBD shopping precinct had been graced with a Marimekko store and as luck would have it, I had just booked return flights to Melbourne. Surely I could squeeze a trip into our jam-packed schedule? Much to my husband’s dismay, I miraculously visited the store on two occasions. Aah, pure Nirvana! But, I’m proud to say that I demonstrated great restraint and only purchased a few metres of Unikko fabric in statement black.
Upon returning to Jakarta with my length of fabric (and with my family.. they too are important!), I decided that I would use my purchase in a few different ways. First and foremost, I needed my own piece of Marimekko wall art (thanks Liz – great idea!), but I also realised that I could spread my Marimekko love around the house. This is what eventuated:
Eager to see my Unikko fabric on my dining room wall, I quickly commissioned the skills of a local framer who stretched 2 metres of my fabric over a timber frame, creating a cost-effective piece of art.
The advantage of this type of wall art is that it can be easily unstapled, folded and packed away if and when necessary (or turned into some cushions!) I’ve already planned my next piece of wall art – a beautiful stretched Batik.
Marimekko Scatter Cushions
With my remaining metre of fabric in arm, I visited La Mode Textile in Fatmawati and purchased a further metre of black cotton fabric. Continuing on my mission, we headed to Hanidas Collection in Cilandak Barat. There I met Pak Hasan who was very helpful, and in a mixture of Bahasa Indonesia and English, we discussed the dimensions and finish of the cushions. Pak used some of the black fabric for the back panel allowing me to stretch my Unikko even further. Now, what to do with the remaining half metre…
..Of course, what every girl needs – a stylish Marimekko Computer Bag! In a matter of a week, Pak Hasan had finished my cushions and created my bespoke computer bag. How cool is that!
So there you have it, my Marimekko journey. Our home feels all the brighter for it and each piece has its own story. You have got to love that.
Talent Frame (Pak Edy)
Jl. Cipete Raya
Jakarta Selatan 12730
Phone: 0821 13111 525
Jl. Pelita Abdul Majid
La Mode Textile
Blok B 1 – 2 Komplek Lottemart
Golden Trully Fatmawati
Jl. R.S. Fatmawati No. 15
Phone: 021 – 27650220
What is Marimekko?
Marimekko is a Textiles and Fashion House, which was founded in 1951 in Helsinki, Finland. It is probably best known for its large, bold prints, many of which are organically inspired. Marimekko’s iconic poppy floral print, Unikko was designed by Maija Isola in 1964 and has proved to be an enduring success.
Words: Jo Photography: a journey bespoke