Four months ago, Louise Goldin's inspiration board was filled with tear sheets from Gianni Versace's mid-nineties advertising campaigns—the ones with the original tawny-limbed supermodels working gladiator kilts, shot by Richard Avedon. That's where she started, while factoring in a dose of baroque curlicues gleaned from a V&A exhibition and a sidelong look at the pointy bras Jean Paul Gaultier made for Madonna's 1990 world tour. To her credit, this knitwear dynamo made none of that research overtly obvious when it came to sending out a collection honed for her twenty-first-century audience.
The Versace-derived pastel tones—lavender, baby blue, pink, lemon, violet, and mint green—were mixed with gold Lurex and engineered into a look that managed to include baby-doll silhouettes and leather bloomer shorts and still didn't look tacky. The skill and imagination are in Goldin's techniques. She transforms knitwear into what she thinks of as fabric, which she drapes and pleats into multilayer skirts, or wraps around the torso of a dress as dreamy, whisper-fine layers of tulle. The minutiae, too, are also knitted—using computer programs written by Goldin—down to the black "lace" edging on a fondant pink dress and the sheer tulle inserts in a gold cyber-bodysuit.
Perhaps even better, though, is the news that Goldin is responsible for a new capsule collection for Ballantyne. She's a talent who started off raw and became sophisticated and lauded in double-quick time. Next, she needs to convince buyers that she has a selling collection of simplified skirts, crop tops, and leggings that have the runway attitude but can be donned without the wearer feeling like a sci-fi movie extra.