Tuesday, November 11, 2008

rumpelstiltskin's loom

men have been spinning thread and weaving them into fabrics for thousands of years. from the egyptians to the vikings, the looping and pulling of thread to make it into something to wear has been some of the first expression humans used into what we now know as fashion. sure it was initially done to protect our ancestors' bodies from the elements, but we can thank designers such as the missonis or the queen of knits sonia rykiel, or even bill cosby with his trademark sweaters in the cosby show for making knitwear not only functional, but fashionable as well. while the missonis and rykiel are still able to churn out dope sweater dressing for us folks, there are some stupidly insane young designers out there who are doing the most unbelievable things with the old craft. i guess its not surprising that england seems to be the place that is becoming the mecca for these new innovators. it is the location of london, the city that sensitively cradles the creativity of its young so its no wonder designers like up and comers louise goldin and clare tough are receiving a lot of attention for taking knitwear where its never been before. while those two manage to integrate their avant garde sensibility with a commercial point of view, london wouldn't be london without its enfant terribles. and that position is readily filled by design collectives sibling, and cooperative designs and a newcomer by the name of josefina lar. designers who seems to feed on the present vivacity of london youth culture and take knitwear to its most extreme and experimental. yet despite all the buzz surrounding london at the moment, europe in general seems to be experiencing a knitwear renaissance of sorts. from sweden comes sandra backlund who builds architectural masterpieces with yarn while marie-louise vogt from hamburg has a patchwork approach to her work. as the popularity of knitwear shows no sign of stopping, other designers from other corners of the world are taking up the old needle and yarn and offering their own take on this ancient craft. south african designer richard de jager's line pwhoa is following in the same experimental vein as the london designers but he injects his work with a tribal touch giving his own interpretation of knitwear. and of course, there is rodarte. fashion world's newest darlings who under the creative vision of sisters kate and laura mulleavy has made gossamer light knits into some of the most coveted creations in hollywood. as the technology advances that allows these maverick designers to push the limits of the craft, the future of knitwear is bound to be an interesting and captivating one.

p.s. i really really want that sibling sweater and since christmas is almost coming i want to see that under my christmas tree.

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