3.03.2014

MARIJKE KOGER-DUNHAM: BEHIND THE SCENES DESIGNING FOR THE BEATLES

The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Press Photo

Outfits for the Beatles’ wifes I met the Beatles in early 1967 after I designed a program cover for Brian Epstein’s Saville Theatre where he showcased musical acts from England and America at Sunday night performances.

 Marijke and Simon

Mel Evans, the Beatles’ roadie, saw the program cover and brought John and Paul to the studio where Simon (my ex) and I worked.. to meet us. They were very impressed by our artwork and invited us to attend the “A Day in a Life” party at Abbey Road studios which consolidated our friendship with the Beatles.


Some time later for the live broadcast of “All YouNeed is Love”, my girlfriend Yosha (who I had invited to work with us) and I designed and made the clothing for all four Beatles.

 Marijke Koger-Dunham

Consequently we made some dresses for Patti to go to the Monterey Pop festival in California.Next Simon and I painted John’s piano at Weybridge where we got to know Cynthia a little better.
  

Visits with Ringo and Maureen followed while we were there. They had just had their baby, Zack. Then Simon and I painted a fireplace mural at George’s house, Kinfauns and I became good friends with Patti.



After that Yosha and I designed and made costumes for the “Magical Mystery Tour” film. Inventing the look was something that came naturally to us, we didn’t really have to think about it and it certainly was not nerve racking (as you suggest). ( I would have died from nervous fits)


We chose fabrics and colors the way one would paint, choosing textile patterns and colors that went well together. We bought a lot of fabrics at Liberty’s of London  where they have the most beautiful around.


Once we were commissioned to decorate the “Apple” boutique and produce the clothing, I designed the murals by making sketches on paper first (although Epstein and the Beatles gave us a“free hand”).
 

For the clothing Yosha and I also made sketches, chose the fabrics and the garments were then manufactured for mass production.


 The Fool Yosha, Marijke and Anke Ferris

Vogue wanted to do a piece on “Apple” and hired Ronald Traeger, a great photographer, to do the shoot.


We asked Patti, Cynthia and Maureen to model and because Jane was away on a theatre tour, Jenny Boyd as well. This all happened before Sgt. Pepper. Fashion is to my mind wearable art, especially when constructed of colorful textiles.

 
This is disputed in copyright law as garments are considered “useful articles” rather than a “unique creative invention”. My fashion lines included hand silk screened fabric designs, among others putting the full color spectrum on cloth for the first time in history. In short, life without color would be dreadful.



Marijke Koger-Dunham graciously contributed this story, and many of these will be a revelation to readers heretofore only familiar with her iconic psychedelic works as commissioned by The Beatles in the mid-1960s...Read more of Heather Harris' interview of her friend Marijke HERE

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