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April 21 2014

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4 posts tagged "Degen"

The Next Big Thing: Degen Fall ’14

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Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.

Degen

Label: Degen, designed by Lindsay Degen

Need to know: Brooklyn-based knitwear designer Lindsay Degen never fails to surprise. In past seasons, she’s looked to such esoteric themes as the interlocking architecture of genetic structures (an ode to mom and dad; both parents are geneticists) and World War I “dazzle ships” for inspiration. This past Fall, she took a step away from her art-school (she’s an alum of both RISD and CSM) standard to collaborate with Victoria’s Secret on a series of “OMG”- and “LOL”-inscribed, social-media-centric thigh-highs and Technicolor woven long johns. One look in particular—a transparent tiger-stripe bodysuit pieced together from fishing line and worn by model Jessica Hart—was the jumping-off point for Degen’s colorful Fall ’14 lineup. Yesterday’s presentation at Industria (a sort of performance-art-cum-knitting rave with made-to-order matcha tea in place of…well, other uppers) gave us neon green-hued, loosely woven crop-top sweaters; thin, nineties-club-styled party tanks; as well as looks made from that same fishing line of VS suit fame. The idea was to visually replicate the trippy experience of working with nonconventional knitting materials, such as the aforementioned fishing line and reflective yarn. This collection is for a very creative type—male, female, however you may identify—with a decidedly DIY bent.

She says: “The whole idea is that a rainbow is really awe-inspiring as a child, and that’s how I felt knitting the fishing line. As I was working, all of this crazy stuff was happening—because it’s not normal yarn, it does weird stuff—so I was like, Wow. This is awesome! I wanted to create that feeling in the person looking at the collection—like magic.”

Where to find it: VFiles, International Playground, and Swords-Smith in New York.

Photo: Courtesy of Degen

Degen: Victoria’s Secret Weapon

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Degen x Victoria's Secret

Here’s one fashion collaboration we never saw coming. Lindsay Degen, the Brooklyn-based designer known for her quirky knitwear and conceptual woven art installations, was tapped by Victoria’s Secret to create a series of one-of-a-kind pieces for the Pink portion of last night’s show. The VS team first discovered Degen back in March, during a chance encounter at a knitwear factory in midtown. They were taken with her “crazy” outfit—a loopy yellow onesie and matching oversize sweater—and immediately signed her to work with them on this year’s show. “Degen [her namesake line] is always about doing something weird but lighthearted, and I don’t feel like I compromised my aesthetic at all,” the designer told Style.com. “While it wasn’t necessarily an idea I would’ve come up with myself, I think the Victoria’s Secret show represents fashion’s ultimate over-the-top and fun side, so I was really proud to be a part of it.”

Degen x Victoria's Secret

VS provided Degen with a social-media theme and several desired silhouettes as a jumping-off point. From there, she let her imagination run wild. The result? Woolen long johns with smiley-face emoticons, fuzzy-pom-pom thigh-high socks, and miniskirts intarsia-ed with hashtags and phrases like “OMG” or “LOL.” “I’m actually really bad at social media, so I have a really positive, fun, cartoony view of what it is, and was able to tap into that.” A sheer, tiger-stripe bodysuit, worn by Jessica Hart, was made entirely from knitted fishing line (an original technique developed by Degen). “It was difficult to fit, because we didn’t know who the model was going to be—I don’t have the opportunity to work with supermodels—and I had to fit it to myself, like I always do,” she said of the piece. “Obviously I’m not Jessica Hart-sized, and I worked on tailoring it to her measurements for two days straight before the show. When I finally saw it walking down the runway, I totally lost it and kept yelling ‘Work’ like a lunatic!”

For more information, visit degen-nyc.com.

Photo: Tommy Ton

Degen Fall 2013

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Label: Degen, designed by Lindsay Degen

Need to Know: For the past several seasons, Lindsay Degen has built up a reputation for quirky knits that reassert the fun in fashion. The up-and-comer dubbed her Fall lineup “The Doctors Degen” in honor of her parents, who are both geneticists, and drew inspiration from their old biology slideshow presentations (which she projected on the wall at Industria yesterday). She whipped up (or, rather, knit up) webbed leggings that mimicked the molecular structure of mold, as well as a soft pullover that spelled out “Yuck.” Degen told Style.com that it was this piece that set the collection in motion.

She Says: “Fashion shouldn’t be so serious.”

Where to Find It: International Playground, Vfiles, and www.degen-nyc.com

Photo: Getty Images

Knit Wit

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Lindsay Degen is not your average fashion girl. The knitwear designer, who presented her first full collection yesterday (she showed a small lingerie capsule last NYFW), started out making large-scale knit art installations while studying at Rhode Island School of Design, then moved on to do more wearable pieces after various collaborations and encouragement from industry veterans like VPL‘s Victoria Bartlett. But a quick glance at Degen’s latest offerings reassures that she has in no way compromised her avant-garde point of view. Degen dubbed this season Ask Tell to honor the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell—she is professedly “all about celebrating individuality and being open.”

In keeping with the military theme, Degen did her own take on WWI battleship “dazzle” camouflage, taking her color palette from Communist propaganda posters. The result was a lineup that carried over cheeky items from Spring, like leggings with two well-placed cutouts on the bum and knit glove necklaces. But there were also more realistic items this time around, like cargo-inspired pants slashed at the knees (the designer was sporting them) and an abundance of sweater crop tops. Never one to take herself too seriously, Degen kept things playful with hyper-pigmented pastel “war paint” makeup and super-chunky platform sneakers that she embellished with yarn.

Photo: Courtesy of Degen