Saturday, 11 April 2009

Behind the scenes... Massey's Knitwear Inspiration

Last week we mentioned that one of our favourite British designers, Carolyn Massey unveiled a behind-the-scenes peak of her Autumn/Winter 2009 collection in an exhibition at Craft Central. Inspired by the Museum of London and National Army Museum, her AW09 collection saw her revive seemingly forgotten historic details and silhouettes and the exhibition exhibition pulls together the research and development that went in to the collection. The exhibition offers a rare insight in to the research and design process and should not be missed so if you find yourself in London this month (the exhibitions runs to 25th) you should certainly make a trip to Clerkenwell to catch Reflect Forward. However, for those of you who can't make it, we asked the designer to talk through her inspirations for her knitwear and how she worked closely with her knitwear consultant Lynn. Massey is at her happiest when researching something she has found, either an old picture or an actual garment and below are a selection of images which inspired her cable knits.

These collective images inspired all the discussion that Lynn and I had about cabling, proportion and scale within the knits. I'll find some imagery and so will Lynn, and then I do some sketches and will have ideas that Ive no idea how to produce or even if they are at all possible...! But then Lynn will come back with ideas and then we can progress from there. Its a good collaborative working process, and in a way my basic knowledge of knitwear (compared to Lynn- a knitter!) means that I have quite a naive approach, and often I'll say why cant this be done? and its up to Lynn to go and find a solution around the problem, which in turn sparks new ways of construction or methods of making.

After inspecting the knitwear pieces up close (at the studio and at the exhibition) Steve was left gushing at the cable knit pattern so it is so nice to hear about the research and development of some of the highlights of her aw09 collection.
By taking elements from pieces she has seen and found whilst combining them with her vision for menswear she create something new. We would certainly love to hear from more designers, not just on what inspired them but how their inspirations evolved in to the finished collection.

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