Melooni is a large-scale design made of concentric ovals in orange, fuchsia, black, and purple on a red ground. It is produced by screen printing on cotton fabric. The Melooni pattern was designed for Marimekko in 1963 by designer Maija Isola, who created 533 designs for Marimekko over the course of her thirty-eight year career. Isola studied as a painter and her designs have a painterly quality about them that is bold, intense, and enthusiastic.
Whenever I see textiles like Melooni, made of large geometric shapes in bright colors, I am reminded of the exciting moment when I wore a vintage Marimekko dress at the 2010 National Design Awards Gala. Several of us dressed in Marimekko so that we could surprise the winner of the 2010 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, Jane Thompson, on stage as she was recognized for her work as an editor, designer, and planner. Marimekko was worn specifically because Mrs. Thompson and her husband, Ben, first introduced Marimekko furnishing textiles to the American market through their company, Design Research. I remember the astonishment and delight on her face when we walked out and greeted her as she received her award.
It was a memorable experience to stand next to Ms. Thompson, someone who has contributed so much to the field of design. Watch this video to learn more about this remarkable woman and my Marimekko moment: