London Fashion Week: Streetstyle, Needles Out

As we near the end of our London Fashion Week coverage, and we look at one of our favourite categories. For the past couple of season’s the knit report has been the easiest one for us to fill month on month. There is so much fabulous innovation happening in this field, and the fashion crowd certainly embraced that at this Fashion Week, rocking some really lovely knitted looks.

Reflecting what we have been seeing at retail, hairy and fluffy knits are super important, as are textural as well as patterned looks. As expected, these themes were taken to the extreme in some cases at LFW, but still looked super stylish. We love the surprise elements in some of these knitted looks, where knits are encased or interspersed with sheers or pattern is blown out and artfully placed. Proportions and detailing are incredibly important, especially when you are working a pretty simplistic knit style. So, we think that this Autumn Winter knits will be super important ( I know this may just sound like common sense and all…) so wear your wool with pride, feel simple chic in cashmere and embrace the hairy effects with lots angora bunny fluff.

Alice Goddard of Hot and Cold magazine at LFW

Alice Goddard of Hot and Cold magazine at LFW

outside the Erdem show, LFW

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

London Fashion Week, September 2011

outside the Mark Fast show, LFW

outside the Mark Fast show, LFW

outside the Topshop Unique show, LFW

outside the Topshop Unique show, LFW

For the rest of our LFW coverage, just click here. If you’d like to read more about knitwear, then click here. Enjoy!

The Reports: January ’11 Knitwear

Have you enjoyed the last few posts highlighting our lovely reports? I do hope so. If you feel that these could be a good tool for your business, then don’t hesitate to contact us directly or have a look here to see who is your nearest agent. We’d be delighted to have the opportunity to show you the reports in their glorious, technicolour reality.

So, today its the chance of our wonderful ‘Knitwear’ report to shine. Actually, alongside the ‘Soft Wovens’ report, the ‘Knit’ report has been the easiest to fill month on month. Whether Spring/ Summer or Autumn/ Winter, the knitwear category has been the place to find great directional designs as the high street just keeps such great innovation constantly coming. Traditionally knitwear has always been overshadowed by jersey, but this is absolutely no longer the case.

All of you brilliant knit designers out there, we salute you!

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If you’d like to see more about our reports, just click here, and remember that what you are seeing is just a small taster of what each report includes. Enjoy!

Blink Reports: Knitwear

So we’ve shard with you the joy of our ‘Denim’ and ‘Jersey’ reports over the past couple of days. Today it’s the turn of our delightfully informative, inspirational and indispensable ‘Knit’ report. This is one of the most creative, versatile and exciting areas of any womenswear collection, so this is one of our most popular reports. Uniquely amongst our competition, we include lots of great yarn composition information alongside all of the brilliant style shots.

Here is a sneak peek at the first few pages in the November issue of this monthly report, and these were followed by almost 40 more pages; each one packed with amazingly detailed product shots. Over 100 images in total! Now, that’s a lot of wonderful inspiration for any buyer, designer, brand manager, retailer, merchandiser or creative director.

If you’d like to see a full version of this, or any of our reports, why not contact us or your nearest agent.

Click here to see the posts about our other reports.

Knitwear: Vintage Style

Some things never loose their fashion appeal, and I’m the very lucky caretaker of a few of those items. I say caretaker rather than owner as they have been passed on to me and I intend to pass them on to some fashion fabulous new generation at some point…

This delicious Bus Stop sweater is a perfect example. It was bought by my Mother before I was even a twinkle in her eye. I am about to dust it off again to wear for this Winter. I think it might have a certain Mark Fast lace knit appeal around the edges, the ‘vert de gris’ green is perfect and the sheerness is also right on track for this Winter.

Bus Stop was a style mecca on Kensington Church Street, alongside the perhaps better known Biba. Lee Bender, the founder, launched the store in 1969 and throughout its lifespan rolled the concept out across the country to a total of twelve stores at the height of their success.

I found this image of my Mum wearing the sweater, along with my stylish Aunt, at a family ‘do’ in the mid 70’s. Its still looking pretty damn good considering the amount of years this slip of knit has been worn for.

The original Bus Stop shop front

The "Blink" Mother in Bus Stop, on the left

vintage Bus Stop sweater

vintage Bus Stop sweater

Click here for more knitwear inspiration.

Knit: Donegal Divas

We have been researching for this month’s reports and the one category that stands out head and shoulders above the others is knitwear. Designers seem to be channeling all of their creativity into this category, much as they did last Autumn. I’m sorry jersey, but you’re just not cutting the mustard. Its all about chunky, cabled variations on traditional looks created in yarns that are hairy, neppy, tweedy and textural.

Classic Aran knits in creamy colours are all delicious, but we prefer these more coloured variations on the trad theme. Click here for more knitwear coverage. Needles at the ready!

Browns

Les Petites

Missoni

Prada

Diesel

Blink interviews: Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson has been called ‘wonderful with wool’ and a ‘material marvel’. Her distinctive designs have won her an army of dedicated fans around the world and given her the reputation as one of Scotland’s brightest design stars. As well as her collection of lovable knitted creatures, the past seven years have seen Donna produce blankets, cushions, trays, wooden dolls, scarves, socks, tea towels, upholstered furniture, even stationary and books. In fact there isn’t much that Donna hasn’t turned her creative hand to!

Donna is committed to making pieces that will last. From her creatures to the upholstery pretty much all of Donna’s designs are made in the UK from 100% natural fibres, like lambswool which is both durable and environmentally friendly.

Which comes first for you, personal style or trends?

Definitely personal style. For me its important not to look to much at trends as my aim is to create something new and fresh, and that has to be a personal response. I guess its inevitable to be influenced by what surrounds us, but I want to try and keep ahead and create designs that are unique to me!

What are you currently working on and how is it shaping up?

I always have lots on the go at the same time. Otherwise I panic that I’m not busy enough! At the moment we are putting the finishing touches to the  Winter ’10 collection which will be launched in August- new hats, scarves and even gloves, as well as soft furnishings. I have always sold scarves but I thought it might be nice to create more of an accessory collection this year.

I’m really excited to be working with Sharon Knightly, an animator, on a music video for Gideon Conn. I saw Gideon perform at Glastonbury a few years ago and thought he was amazing. The happy music seemed to suit my creatures perfectly, and I have always wanted to bring them to life through animation so when this opportunity arose I jumped at the chance. I can’t wait to see the results!

Oh, also at the end of May we are creating a giant maze of yarn for a festival in my home town in Scotland. Its going to be a labyrinth of multicoloured yarn that people can interact with!

What’s currently inspiring you?

I’m really into Scandinavian design and artists. Being from Aberdeen, I think I might have some Scandinavian blood! I love the work of Norwegian ceramicist, Stig Lindberg. I think its the simplicity, the reference to nature and use of natural materials that I’m drawn to. I just need to plan a Scandinavian tour!

Has your business developed in the way that you anticipated?

I think so, although I never really imagined that I’d create a business from making knitted creatures. The products have evolved and I have had to become a bit more business minded than comes naturally. I’m so determined to keep developing and not stand still. When you’re working all the time, its sometimes difficult to stand back and see whats happened. I occasionally get a glimpse of it when I see things in magazines, or get some good feedback from people. I heard that Orlando Bloom bought two of my trays, and Sheryl Crow has bought a pouffe!

Do you work best alone of collaboratively?

I enjoy both. Collaborating is more difficult as you always feel like the design has to be a bit of both you and the collaborator. I quite like it when its just the way I want it! having said that I think that collaborations are very important as they make you do things that you wouldn’t normally, and that challenge is really good.

What is currently tempting you to make a purchase?

I would really like to buy a ‘love seat’ from Ercol. Its so simple, smooth and lovely, and also its made in the UK.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Creating happy products that people like and buy! Sometimes I can’t quite believe that! Also I am my own boss and can choose when I want to do the exciting things and leave the boring things until later!

Pencil and paper or computer and mouse?

I wish that it was just pencil and paper, but I do spend a lot of time on the computer. Even with designing, I have started to use ‘Illustrator ‘ quite a lot to generate different combinations quickly. All of my ideas do start off with pencil and the back of an envelope, or whatever comes to hand…

I feel most creative when…

I am on a train traveling through the countryside with a sketchbook and no internet!

Any final words of advise?

Keep determined, work hard, be confident in what you are doing and have fun with it- easier said than done sometimes but we all know that if we really, really want something we can get it!

Donna Wilson in her studio

Hand Painted ‘Staffordshire Dogs’

Meg Cushion

Fox scarf

Meg plate