Knitwear is Christian Wijnants
' thing. In the decade since he launched his brand, he's developed a strong reputation for innovation—for example, with the shibori tie-dye knits that won him last year's Woolmark Prize. He has also attracted fresh investment of late, which he used to stage his first fashion show and debut a new Resort collection. "It's a strong between-season capsule, with about 50 percent knits that are easy to wear in places where it's hot, like California or Japan—and I hope that for Fall [that ratio] will be even more," the designer said. But he has a way with leather, too. Drawing inspiration from Southeast Asian nomadic tribes known as "sea gypsies," Wijnants offered a laminated leather top and sharp, cropped Perfectos in shimmery blues or green. Earthy colors made an appearance, too, in blocks of mustard or rust set against hand-drawn sailor stripes on a fine-gauge linen wool knit. A collage print based on the work of artist Peter Doig cropped up on a long silk chiffon tunic or got turned into confetti and sprinkled over a sleeveless shift. Wijnants also shredded that fabric and reworked it as a tank top and a chunky cardigan with the help of a family of artisans in Bosnia, where the hand-knitting tradition remains strong. "They came and found me," the designer said, adding that their techniques are a source of constant surprise. "For me that's the whole point, to create things that are different but also authentic and sincere." It's not hard to imagine these cardigans becoming a favorite beach cover-up, but they'll work best on a build that's seriously long and lean.