Fashion 156 Blog

04.04.11's 5 Q Interview - Derek Lawlor

From's fashion editorial, AW 10 LFW Preview Issue.

From's fashion editorial, The Grey Issue.

From's show report on Derek Lawlor AW 11/12.

From Derek Lawlor's AW 11/12 Lookbook.

Derek Lawlor

At we have been captivated by Derek Lawlor's approach to knitwear and design since his CSM MA 09 show. We first interviewed Derek back in April 09 and have been following his evolution as a designer ever since. Having recently discussed knitwear with Derek, as well as a host of other London designers including Mark Fast, we felt it was finally time to invite Derek to guest contribute to the blog which he will be doing all this week.

What we love about Derek is his fearless approach to design. We are in awe of the innovative he explores knitwear, focusing firmly on the avant-garde. His creations are technical marvels as he forces you to rexamine the very idea of what knitwear is. 

For AW 11/12 you collaborated with illustrator Alec Strang if you could collaborate with anyone on a collection who would you choose and why?

I would love to work with a couture house, steeped in history, such as Balenciaga. It would be amazing to work with a team assembled from world’s best craftsmen. In general I don’t like the use of technology in the production of work. I have always looked towards the couture sensibility, with everything from initial sketches, to the draping and finishing of a garment carrying the marks of craftsmanship and thumbprint of the designer.  Couture pieces are and expression of that moment, yet always remain timeless in their statement. This is an ethos I try to uphold within my work.

Your pieces always have a 3 dimensional element to them if you could incorporate any technology into your designs what would you do and why?

Collaborating with Alec Strang on my prints for this collection has opened my eyes to ways in which technology can be used alongside traditional techniques. This combination of ways of working is something I would like to explore more, in terms of fabric manipulation and new ways of interpreting my signature techniques.

There has been a resurgence of home crafts in fashion in recent years, if you had to choose another hand craft to experiment in aside from knitwear what would you choose and what would you create?

My dad is a carpenter and joiner, so I've always been intrigued by the intricate processes involved in woodwork. I’d like to find a way of interpreting these techniques within other materials.

Your woven corded style of knitting appears almost wire like to me if you had to be trapped any where, where would choose and why?

I’m pretty claustrophobic, so preferably somewhere spacious. Or maybe a nice big yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean, fully stocked with supplies and with a bunch of close friends.

When I look at your knitwear I am always reminded of twisted liquorice, what are the top 5 things hitting your sweet tooth at the moment?

1. Thinking about the summer and planning all the things I want to do.
2. Relaxed Saturday afternoons, they are unfortunately very rare.
3. Guilty pleasure music. There’s no shame in a bit of cheese.
4. The only way is Essex (cringe, no comment)
5. The Yohji Yamamoto retrospective at the V&A. A must see exhibition.

Posted by Susan Walsh

Tags: Derek Lawlor 5 Q Interview

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