9 posts tagged "Louise Goldin"
Who can resist a novelty sweater? Over the past few seasons, pullovers emblazoned with Givenchy’s snarling rottweilers and Kenzo’s tigers have become status symbols for the street-style set. Designers’ message for Fall: There is plenty more where those came from. Jeremy Scott and Raf Simons sent tongue-in-cheek intarsia knits down their runways, and Christopher Kane’s turtleneck depicting a healthy human brain electrified with ideas is destined to become a collector’s item. Others took a more classic approach. Sweaters inlaid with feminine floral motifs turned up at Billy Reid, Sister by Sibling, and Antonio Marras, while Victoria Beckham, Derek Lam, and Louise Goldin (left) stuck with graphic, geometric patterns.
Here, the best of Fall’s intarsia knits.
Photo: Ian Gavan / Getty Images
There seemed to be a palpable sense of confusion and then relief among editors who walked into Louise Goldin’s presentation at London’s St. Martins Lane Hotel to find just four sparse racks of clothes. Is that it? went the collective thought. On each hung the same six or seven pieces of minimal, body-con knitwear with sheer stripes—a long dress, a top pieced with jacquard, a T-shirt, a mini skirt, a maxi—in four different colors: red, camel, white and black.
Turns out this was just the first part of a two pronged attack. Goldin herself was making the rounds, a glass of champagne in hand. “I think its really important to say that I wanted to work on my business this season,” she explained. “This knitwear needs an incredible, incredible amount of manufacturing support, and there was no point in me dashing out shows that can’t be produced.”
Instead, Goldin is showing the collection a few weeks after Paris fashion week wraps up in an interactive film, naturally with SHOWStudio’s Nick Knight. For two days, the pair—along with a hair and makeup team—will have a supermodel in a studio and get about 80 different people who sign up to direct her movements and a few other variable elements. And all of it is done by Skype. “People can be involved in the process of a show,” said Goldin. “It’s inclusive—not just like, ‘Oh you can’t come to my show.’”
But as Goldin explained, the film has the potential to be more than simply a neat alternative to the classic runway format. She and Knight are exploring the idea of incorporating e-commerce where you can click on a film still and buy you’re seeing. But Goldin stressed that it’s still a work in progress. “I’m talking to my factory about it, to say, ‘What if we get 20,000 orders? Will you be able to make them?’” she said.
Hopefully Goldin’s new role as knitwear designer at the house of Versace will help to expedite her production. In the meantime, give her credit for thinking outside of the established system about how best to showcase herself and her work—a move that might just lead to those 20,000 orders in the end.
“Everyone involved in this was my A-list first choice,” Bronwyn Cosgrave declared of the panel of judges she assembled to select the five short-listed semifinalists for the first Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize at London’s Dorchester Hotel. That sentiment, one hopes, extends to said semifinalists, too. But Cosgrave could be forgiven for a little enthusiasm for the judging side of the table: It included Daphne Guinness, Manolo Blahnik, Giles Deacon, milliner Stephen Jones, Yasmin LeBon, Vanity Fair‘s Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, and ES fashion director Gianluca Longo. Despite the varied group, “it was a remarkably smooth decision process,” Blahnik said. “We saw the number of applications and hung our heads. But it turns out that we were largely unified despite our different personal aesthetics.” His co-panelist Guinness (pictured above with her fellow jurors) agreed heartily. “I take refuge in the arts,” she said. “It was wonderful to have us all agree so easily, so that I could realize that I am not crazy and my values are shared.”
The semifinalists are the English knitwear designer Louise Goldin; the Greek-born, London-based Mary Katrantzou; Hermione de Paula, who created a surprisingly dainty collection called “I Heart Elizabeth Berkley”; the sculptural footwear designer Chau Har Lee; and Thomas Tait, from Canada. The unifying factor—maybe the only one—is a commitment to craftsmanship and a preference for the conceptual (even, occasionally, at the expense of commercial viability).
But Guinness, for one, was all in favor. “Craftmanship needs to return,” she declared. “I am always overjoyed to see students who love to stitch their own seams. We need better things, not more. We should not pollute the world with meaningless, unused things when we can make and support things of rare and precious beauty.” As the only international fashion prize set to roam to a different fashion capital each year—at the site, not by coincidence, of a Dorchester Collection hotel; next year’s will be in New York—the award should do just that. The winner, to be announced in November, takes home a £25,000 prize and a free event at any of the Dorchester Collection’s properties.
Some trends are easy to identify because they come at you all at once, like ultra-mega-platforms and leather leggings. But other trends mark eras. They’re usually the ones that sneak up on you. Take knits: Word that up-and-coming London designer Mark Fast would be designing a range for Topshop arrived on the same day this week it was announced that H&M would be collaborating with the legendary Sonia Rykiel.
Together, it amounted to a ratification of the emerging interest in knitwear dressing. Rykiel, of course, essentially invented sweater dressing. Fast, on the other hand, is one of several young designers giving knits a major rethink. Rodarte and Ohne Titel are among that same group. Fast’s super-sexy knit dresses are closer in spirit to vintage Hervé Léger bandage dresses than they are to Rykiel’s striped jumpers. (He’d probably die before he made a cardigan.) But as far apart as the two designers may be aesthetically, their work starts with the same length of yarn.
Why the sudden passion for knits? We posed the question to Louise Goldin, whose eponymous line is based on knits she drapes and pleats like fabric. This season, she also debuted her capsule collection for old-school cashmere brand Ballantyne, where she’s now creative director. (Here’s one look pictured at left.) “Why anyone else gets into knits, I can’t say, because I got into it by accident,” Goldin explained. “When I started school, I was encouraged to explore knits because working with them, you can learn about everything. Draping, patternmaking, textile development.” Goldin continued that she’s not trying to replace Ballantyne’s traditionalist approach with anything too avant-garde—at least not for now. “Before I do anything else, I want to play with the brand’s blends, and their knitting techniques,” she noted. “That is the key difference. When you’re working with a knit, you’re the one creating the fabric. You start from scratch.”