Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Story Behind Our Collections - Maileg

We are huge fans of toys that are pieces for play that encourage a childs imagination. We believe that creativity is about coming up with something new. Seeing something through the minds eye rather than the eyes in which we see our physical world.
Maileg is the imagination and the creativity that was born from the eyes of an originative mind. A collection of pieces designed to decorate the home and a wonderful collection designed for children. The Danish design house of contemporary interior lifestyle concepts was established in 1999 and is the imaginative, tactile and visual universe of Dorthe Mailil.

Dorthe Mailil is a graphic designer from The Danish Design School where she graduated in 1996. With studies at the E´cole D´art de Marseille in France and previous stays with creative work in Paris Mailil has a unique talent for creating delightful pieces with an unusual richness and quality.
Winner of the Formland Design Award several times it comes as little surprise that the world that grew up around the bunnies and elves has become an adored collection all around the world.

The authenticity that underlines Dorthe Mailil´s touch has also made her well known as a graphic designer for both books and magazines. Dorthe Mailil´s design has among others been presented at Louvre, Paris – Caixa Forum, Barcelona and Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The Danish design house Maileg brings us a world of rabbits and bunnies with beautifully crafted accessories, mice that sleep in miniature matchboxes on soft striped pillows and woolen blankets. You'll find a charming princess with her bed piled high with mattresses and the infamous pea beneath them, skittles, rattles, and contemporary seasonal decorations for Easter and Christmas as well as storage drums for your favourite things and of course treats.

I have been a fan of maileg ever since my girls were born. My love started with the Belle Amis rattles and has grown along with my girls since. The pieces are crafted beautifully and the fabric and textiles used have such a pleasing feel to touch and play with.

The fabrics used are quite the signiature of Danish design, following a natural theme using cottons that have clear simple patterns typically including white stripes and checks and just as with the bunny collection you'll find that florals are seen too with frosty pastel petals on a white background.
The colours associated with the designs are typical of scandinavian interiors with subtle cool pastels; delicate blossoms of pink and blues that conjure up a milky sky, alongside stronger tones like royal blue, touches of red and bright green.

Natural wood is used frequently in the collection. The furntiure follows the strong designs of the Scandinavian feel for fresh and timeless pieces, where strong lines are often met with gentle curving detail.

The girls insist that the mice are private creatures that live in wardrobes and cupboards where it’s quiet and safe. I cannot count the times I’ve laughed aloud at the places I’ve discovered them hiding along with tea sets and miniature furniture where they’ve set up house.  Our mouse house is tucked in a bookshelf and has been their home for as long as I can remember. We have made a ‘townhouse’ from old shoe boxes for them too, and this is where they come to stay when they’re visiting their cousins.
It is as though they are the mystical creatures that live alongside us. The girls will make up stories too of what they get up to when we are not at home. ‘Coco’ is the sensible one whereas ‘Beau’ is a little mischievous trying to coax the others into some sort of cheeky game. ‘Coco’ and ‘Beau’ have travelled all around the world with us too, taking their suitcases and holiday must haves with them. 

I continue to love the way the girls play when they play with Maileg. Their imagination is free to create little worlds in which their bunnies or mice live in. Whereas their dolls follow a more traditional routine of role-play in which they mimic our everyday lives seeing the world as it is. I have noticed that with other ‘toys’ they are freer to ‘let go’ of this way of play.  ‘Coco’ and ‘Beau’ live in a wonderland where flowers sing, stars are sprinkles of magical powers and the world is a place of new discoveries in which nothing is at it truly is. Their creative play goes beyond thinking and feeling the world as it is and into having their own ideas about it. Interpreting their experience and imagination to give it new meaning. This is not to say that one is more important that the other but rather there is desire for both. A puzzle can only be pieced together in one way; there is an order a logic to it. A picture can use different media and be many things either as a replicated image of something known or a journey into the artists own imagination. Neither is more important than the other and both are part of a childs play. The girls have toys which are played with using their experience of the world as they have learned it and of course those that teach them about the world as it is, then there are toys in which they play with through their ‘minds eyes’. They are inventive, imaginative and turn this into creativity.

This is one of the joys of childhood; the ability to be so utterly spontaneous in thought. To create just to be creative. This is why I love the collections of Maileg. The timeless pieces that have brought a little magic to my own children, a sense of nostalgia to me and hopefully too to be handed down to their children where they can see, as mothers, the other side of play.

Thankfully The Maileg collection holds more than well designed toys for children.
There are beautiful seasonal decorations for Easter and Christmas alongside goodie tins, candle holders and bunting. The designs are instantly recognisable through their colour, design and theme.

Some of our family traditions involve Mailegs designs, the Easter egg tins are rediscovered in the garden every year with different treats inside according to their ages. It’s a tradition I hope to keep going from bunny accessories which is a current favourite and girls’ obsession to hiding a lipstick or a pair of gloves when they are (much) older.
Our pixy advent calendars come out in December to squeals of excitement and their pockets are filled with treats and surprises and ideas for the day. I’m hoping when the children are older they’ll get an advent for us too to fill with ideas, wishes and treats too. The fabric decorations are hung by the children on the lower branches of the Christmas tree and the girls feel like they have been part of the decorating affair that is Christmas. Each year I will add to the collection giving the girls a ‘special’ decoration that is ‘theirs’. Mostly they are chosen depending on the children’s ages and characters at the time. Sometimes just because I know they will adore them.

The Maileg collection grows stronger with each new season. Bringing new collections; a new range of matchbox mice with beautfiul seasonal colours and bunnies in glorious fabric clothing. Easter is just around the corner now and their collection for this special time in spring conjures up imaginings of sunny picnics, fresh spring flowers and wonderful Easter egg hunts. There are plenty of inspiring gifts to suit all ages and wonderful pieces to start your own family traditions.

You can see the best of the Maileg collection here

My favourite pieces from the spring / summer 2011 Maileg collection are the fabric tea set and patisserie cakes.  They are made with beauty and longeivity in mind and just like the whole of the Maileg collection, they are very desirable and collectable.

This is part of our series of blog posts that reveal the story behind the collections and why we chose them for the Sisters Guild Boutique.

1 comment:

  1. Maileg has such cute pieces that it is a true happiness to bring them into your house...for the kids and parents pleasure :)