The Dress That Won The Election


Marimekko Store Website. They are 60 years old this year.

A simple dress, the Presidency and a 1960s street style lookbook that points to the future 


Fashion writers have argued that John Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in the 1960 election, not because of his war-hero charisma, or his youthful good looks versus Nixon’s 5 O’Clock shadow in the TV debates. If the 1960 election was the first election debated through images, in an election one by a hairsbreadth fashionistas suggest it was photos of Jackie Kennedy in a Marimekko dress that won it for her husband. Jackie had been criticised for her tastes for Parisian fashions so she bought seven inexpensive cotton dresses from a local Cape Cod boutique. The simple shift dresses (Marimekko is Finnish for ‘Mary’s dress’), softened what was perceived as her cosmopolitan sophistication.



Marimekko Lookbook from Nothing is New


Kelly Rakowski who publishes the Nothing is New blog, looking at the influence of historical imagery on the present, just posted a series of spreads from a 1960s Marimekko lookbook. It has the feel of street photography devoted to pattern, colour and shape. The bright graphic quality of the Marimekko book certainly locks onto this year’s predicted fashion palette.


Marimekko Lookbook from Nothing is New


The company are currently celebrating their 60th anniversary and Rakowski’s selection of work demonstrates the information-rich narratives of a simple lookbook. In the world of Flickr and Facebook, when consumers are increasingly used to curating and reading their own palettes of imagery, there are new opportunities for communication with multiple imagery. Advertising with lookbook-style spreads using photos to convey both mood and narrative. The post-advertising age will be about visual arrangement as well as content.


Marimekko – A Whole Life: 60 years of colours, stripes and shapes shows at the Design Museum, Helsinki until 29 May.


Annika Rimala, Saniainen mekko / dress, Pilvi kangas / pattern 1964. Photo Rauno Träskelin.


From hipsters to street kids, retro vogue to beach cool, our Art Directors work closely with stylists and make-up artists to create the images of tomorrow by spotting the fashion trends of the future to represent in our fashion stock photos.




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