Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Craig Lawrence: Innovation and Imagination

The Craig Lawrence talk at the V&A on Monday 29th April, hosted by Tamsin Blanchard, Style Director of the Telegraph Magazine, revealed an imaginative and innovative designer pushing the boundaries of knitting. His stunning creations have been worn by celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Bjork and Tilda Swinton and were the focus of a Fashion in Motion Event at the V&A in July 2012.

Photo from www.vam.ac.uk
Beginning with when he was taught to knit by his Grandmother, Craig told us that he has always been interested in making things and knitting became a way of creating fabrics. After A levels in Art, Photography and Textiles and a foundation course at London College of Fashion, Craig studied Knitwear and Fashion at Central St Martins. At CSM he was encouraged to be experimental and free in his creations. As well as working with Gareth Pugh during this time, Craig used all kinds of non-traditional materials such as cotton tape, barrier tape, bin bags and 'shiny things'! He describes his search for materials as always being on the hunt for one long string of something that can be knitted.

Dukes of Hazard Tape at Patternity Exhibition
Photo by Emma Vining
For Bright Young Things, Craig was given his own window at Selfridges in Oxford Street. His gold foil knitted dress is made up of a tiny 'boob tube' style garment in the centre of pulled loops of material. Craig uses his loop technique to create huge volume.

Photo from www.selfridges.com
The designing and making of a smoking jacket for SHOWstudio.com was captured on camera, from knitting the individual pieces, designing on the stand through to the finished garment being modelled. The smoking jacket is made up of machine knitted circles. The video can be found on the SHOWstudio website.

Photo from show studio.com
Discussing his design process, Craig says that although he works with experimental fabrics and samples, a wearable garment is always at the back of his mind. He begins with picking his yarns, then moves on to the experimental knitting. This is followed by working on the stand and developing a silhouette, before creating final pieces. His garments are on sale at Dover Street Market in several major cities.

Fashion in Motion at the V&A in July 2012, was an opportunity for Craig to look back at his collections and see his favourite pieces in action. The Behind the Scenes Video and the Fashion in Motion video shown at the talk can be viewed on the V&A Chanel.

Photo from www.vam.ac.uk
So, what next for this creative and innovative designer? Having taken some time out in order to restructure his business, Craig is currently Artist in Residence at Somerset House in London and says he is enjoying every moment being located in the vaults under Waterloo Bridge.

He also is thinking of 'fluffy, metallicy' socks!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Pattern Power / Superstripe Exhibition

Pattern Power is 'a Cultural Festival of Pattern Exploration'. Hosted by Patternity, this exhibition at the Londonewcastle Project Space in East London, celebrates 'pattern everywhere'. Creative works on display, include fashion, photography, art and design. Patternity invites everyone to 'delve beneath the surface of pattern' and participate in the exhibition through a series of events and talks.

Image from Patternity.co.uk

'The Duke of Hazard Tape' by Craig Lawrence caught my eye immediately. Craig Lawrence studied Fashion and Knitwear at Central St Martins and has a reputation for inventive techniques and innovative materials. His work featured in the V&A's Ballgowns Exhibition and Fashion in Motion series. He will be at the V&A later this month to talk about his work and current projects in an evening event.

The Duke of Hazard Tape by Craig Lawrence
Photo by Emma Vining
This striking Holly Fulton Dress from SS13 plays on traditional summer stripes. The dress both 'flatters the wearer and mesmerises the onlooker'. Holly Fulton describes the look as classic with a twist of her favourite op art style.

Holly Fulton Dress
Photo by Emma Vining

Close up of Holly Fulton SS13 dress,
showing fringe detail.
Photo by Emma Vining
I was fascinated by the 'Rhythm and Ritual' weaving on display, especially when photographed with the dramatic wall art behind it.

Rhythm and Ritual by Katherine May and Richard Sennett
Photo by Emma Vining
Rhythm and Ritual by Katherine May and Richard Sennett
Photo by Emma Vining
Wall Art at Pattern Power Exhibition
Photo by Emma Vining
The Patternity ethos of 'celebrating pattern everywhere' encourages and inspires everyone who visits the exhibition to look a little closer at the world around them and delve a little deeper beyond the surface patterns they see everyday. Visit the Patternity archive for even more inspirational images and ideas.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Mosaic Tiles Wrap in the Knitter Magazine, Issue 57

My Mosaic Tiles Wrap is the Subscriber Exclusive pattern in the next Knitter Magazine! My subscriber copy of Issue 57 arrived this morning and I am thrilled to see the wrap looking so stunning on page 28. I really enjoyed designing and knitting this wrap and the gorgeous Habu textiles bamboo lace yarn was a pleasure to work with. The finished wrap is so light and soft and has a lovely sheen.
The Knitter Issue 57 Subscriber Exclusive Pattern by Emma Vining
Image from the Knitter Magazine
Inspired by mosaic tiles at the V&A museum, the wrap is made of individual squares in two colours, Dark Grape and Bronze. Each square is picked up from a neighbouring square and shaped using mitred corner decreasing. The wrap is finished off with a garter stitch border and picot cast off.
Mosaic Tiles Wrap squares and border detail
Photo by Emma Vining
The Knitter have published the pattern as a 'Knitalong'. Part 1, in this issue, has the instructions for the first row of squares and Part 2 follows next month.