Tag Archives: Arts

Marimekko Released a Statement

marimekko, louekari, plagiaatti, Helsinki

Edited to add: Original inspiration picture has been found. You can see it HERE.

Marimekko released a statement about two hours ago regarding Hetkiä/Moments-print. For those who don’t know, last night someone came forward with this bag on the left and said she bought it in Barcelona in 2001. The Marimekko print on the right is from 2003. Marimekko’s statement is as follows:

YLE published on their website on Wednesday 25.9.2013 that recent allegations regarding Marimekko, reminded a so far anonymous person about similarities between print designed by Marimekko designer Maija Louekari in year 2003, Hetkiä/Moments, and a purse she possibly bought in Barcelona on her holiday.

“I confirm that Hetkiä/Moments is my design. I took part with it in a competition organized by Marimekko and University of Art & Design Helsinki. The bag bought in Barcelon, seen in the news, in my opinion is the copy. I’ve seen the bag myself (often), after the print was produced by Marimekko and been wondering about it’s similarity. My Hetkiä/Moments-prints inspiration came from Helsinki streetviews. I drew the view in the city center from a point where you look towards Fabianinkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi. This Helsinki view is can also be seen in the nameless’ source’s bag from Barcelona”, says Louekari.

“Maija Louekari won a competition organized by University of Art & Design Helsinki and Marimekko for young designers with her Hetkiä/Moments print in 2003. Louekari’s print collection of various city views appealed the jury. With the win, Hetkiä/Moments, was selected to be produced and launched as part of Marimekko’s Spring 2004 home decoration collection”, says Marimekko’s creative director Minna Kemell-Kutvonen.

As part of statement is a scan of Louekari’s competition piece from 2003, and today 26.9.2013 taken photograph from Helsinki, the corner of Fabianinkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi, which was the inspiration for Hetkiä/Moments.

Nakyma Helsingin Fabianinkadun ja Pohjoisesplanadin risteyksesta

You can download the original images from the statement HERE. I will now try to argue why I still think this is very much of an open case.

Skannaus Maija Louekarin kilpailutyosta vuodelta 20033

If you look at the page 1 of the scan, you can see cityscapes of many European cities. I can for sure recognize the one from Holland and the one with narrow, curved street looks like something from Paris. And I should know, I lived in the previous one for years and the latter, I’ve visited 5-6 times already. In one picture there’s even japanese/chinese writing. But all is good still here, they say in the statement that “various city views”, they didn’t specify Helsinki.

In a closer look, the page is A4 in size (even if it was A3) but there’s a lot of detail per image. It says that it’s a scan of Louekari’s competition piece. So I’m assuming that she scanned her sketches and then printed them out. Which means this is a scan of a scan. Then in the middle, there’s an odd cut-off point which looks like that there was two separate pieces of paper on top of each other when the scanning was done. But I can’t tell was this done in the original, competition version or in this second scan. Then on the bottom there’s a piece of paper with text “Printti: Kuvia kaupungista”, laying on top of the paper/sketch. Again, cannot tell if it’s in the competition piece or added for this scan.

Skannaus Maija Louekarin kilpailutyosta vuodelta 20032

On the second page we see two sketches. As they stand on a blank background, I’m assuming that two separate images were imported into this page. Again, I cannot tell if this was done in the original competition piece or for this proof scan. However, here we see the words Sade1 and Printti, Eteläespa.

marimekko, louekari

Now on the third page we see three prints: Sade, Eteläespa and Terassi. On previous page we see the name Sade assigned to the Eteläespa but here we can see a print with people carrying umbrellas, the second is Eteläespa and on the bottom Terassi. In this scan we basically see three sketches that have been scanned  and cleaned up in Photoshop and then some attempted colourings. A personal comment…I remember when I started learning Photoshop for printing in art school. This is exactly how my colouring went when I didn’t yet understand how tools worked. I’d randomly click on my sketch and the go “ooh” and “aah” when something design-ish appeared in the screen.

Now, Marimekko and Louekari states that the view is from Helsinki and took a photograph this morning to prove it. However, where do the other sketches come from? Did she travel to those places herself and took photos and then used them for sketching? The sketch style in itself is not original, there wasn’t an art student at that time who hadn’t dabbled with don’t-lift-the-pen-technique, myself included. Which places were inspiration for Sade and Terassi?

Then the questionable print…Marimekko and Louekari states that this is from the corner of Fabianinkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi. However in the competition piece (of which we now know only that it’s a scan of a competition piece that Marimekko says is a competition piece) it states the name Eteläespa. Which is a nickname for Eteläesplanadi, the SOUTHERN opposite of Pohjoisesplanadi. Then more problems, the scale is wrong. On Pohjoisesplanadi cars aren’t that close to the sidewalk NOR the area of Esplanadi where the benches actually are. Something else missing too, the hustle and bustle seen in the sketch. But guess where they ARE situated like that? And where there is movement, and hustle and bustle? In Barcelona. On La Rambla:

barcelona, la ramblaWhat else I got? I don’t want to sound like Matlock but my friend just called. We had the following conversation:

He: I don’t think the print is about Helsinki
Me: How come?
He: The car in the pic. It’s a japanese model that wasn’t sold in Finland at all. It was popular in Central and Southern Europe though.
Me: ????

Here we have Marimekko and Marimekko’s designer saying the print isn’t a copy. Trying to prove it with a photo taken this morning, in a location that doesn’t match the “original” print name, and with scans of pages we cannot verify when they were made/printed, of sketches we cannot verify where the sketches came from. Memory? Photographs? Whose photographs?

Only when we can check the manufacturer of the bag that started it all and the date it was made, we can definitely say if Hetkiä is an original piece or not. Right now, with the shaky lines, it looks like it was traced through ON a very uneven surface, very quickly.

Thrifty Finn- Nearly missing gym because of this

P.S. If you know the person who told YLE about the bag, please let her know that I’m interested in the company name. She can contact me via thriftyfinn(at)gmail.com

Fabric Friday: Kristina Isola Prints Through The Years

Here is a gallery of Kristina Isola’s prints through the years. The links to the original sources can be found at the end. I’ve excluded the prints Kristina did together with her mother, Maija Isola. In the list can also be found the controversial “Gingko”-print which originality is highly debatable (although I have formed my firm opinion based on the fact it isn’t her usual style). Anyhoo, if you know other prints or have Kristina Isola-fabric, please let me know in the comments and I can add it/them here. Enjoy!

Original sources in random order:

Kukkura 2007, Voikukka 1997, Siideri 1996, Viola 1999, Belvedere 1997, Hedelmäpuu 1996, Kaustinen 1992, Puutarha 1997, Kimalainen 1986, Krassi 1998, Aallokko 1995, Morelli 1990, Terassi 1992, Soliseva 1996, Linnea 199?, Sekä Että 1999, Tasan 2000, Onnellinen 2000, Colorraita 1998, Tiheys 2000, Malva 2011, Loitsu 1992, Kalliolla 1992, Pajunkissat 2008, Cembalo 1998, Poppeli 1992, Piano 1999, Omppu 1996, Talvimatka 2005, Mittari 1989,    Gingko 2008, Mulperi 1989, Muuttohaukka 1996, Veistos 1993, Naamiaiset 1994, Borealis 1992, Metsäpolku 1995, Balsami 1991




Have I been pinning or have I been pinning? Seems that every moment for the last week that hasn’t been spent on doing my re-selling thing, has been about Pinterest. I really do have some excellent pins there, even if I say so myself. You really should follow me. Anyhoo, some of my favourites this week were…

helvetica poster, nordic design collective, typography, art

Girl, you know it’s true. By Nordic Design Collective.

floral shift dress, orange flowers on navy background Summer is almost here and I’m craving for floral prints. Granted, I’d look like a sofa if I wore this but I like to think that I’d be a pretty sofa. And what you feel inside is what really counts.

cucumber and avocado sandwich Maybe I’d look less like a cushioned seating and more like a hot single girl about town if I ate  like this. I have pinned lots of interesting foods, cakes and snacks but I’ve never made anything. But honestly, who has? Have you? You’re lying.

quilted reversible jacket

Speaking of making…I pinned this on my Sewing-board. It’s a quilted, reversible jacket by french label Isabel Marant Étoile. The price tag of €290 gives a hefty saving if you make one yourself. Technically, this jacket doesn’t seem too tricky plus you can leave the pockets out. Only difficult thing I can see happening is that if you use too much batting, the armhole might get too tight and/or bulky. And last but not least…

 Now that’s the man I want and need.

Thrifty Finn- born to pin.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Up. Upper. Upstairs, downstairs. The royalty. This is my interpretation of the theme UP on this week’s photo challenge. I used Pioneer Woman’s Seventies and Sharpen photo actions. They are my favourites just in case you haven’t noticed 😀

If you are interested, click HERE to see what other people have come up with.

Thrifty Finn- dreaming of Paris and Louvre and, and, and…


Kädentaitomessut- Arts & Crafts Fair


Last  November I went to Kädentaitomessut (Arts & Crafts Fair) in Helsinki. I took pictures but never got around posting about it. Yeaaaaah. That’s how I apparently roll. Well, lucky for me, the fair is twice a year and it’s coming up again in couple of weeks time. So isn’t it really better to post about the fair now? BEFORE the fair is on? As to give information what’s it about?

At least that’s how I reason it to myself.

Anyhoo. The fair is held in huge (in Finnish huge, not American huge) convention center. There are several wings of which one is for crafts and (this time) the other fairs held at the same time are: Child, Model Expo, Outlet Expo and Local&Organic Food Fair. I’m particularly excited about the last one because, hey, tastings. Mmmm. Food samples…


I like that there are both small independent crafters and manufacturers AND shops that sell supplies. Pictured above are bamboo dish rags by Susannan Työhuone (Susanna’s Workroom). I didn’t buy one but I kind of wish that I did. I tried to keep a budget so I bought only necessary supplies like washi tape, ProMarkers, stamps…You know. The basic stuff. Continue reading