As part of our AW11 LFW Designer Tracking Series we are following 14 designers in the run up to LFW. On Wednesday we went in studio with Adam Andrascik and Lu Flux, yesterday we caught up with Hermione de Paula and David Longshaw. Today we enter the Braille man's world going in studio and catch up with Fannie Schiavoni (see post below).
In your introduction to this series you told us how the initial point of inspiration for the AW11 collection is the Michigan Theatre in Detroit, and the destruction and allusion of dreams, can you tell me a little about this?
Ben: My grandparents came from Detroit, Michigan a place where you used to be able to live the American Dream. A friend of ours also has grandparent’s from there and they had a car-park which was sold and turned into a theatre so it is the idea of decay and development. The idea of the circle of life, decay, reinterpretation, layers and elegance.
So where did influences for the collection come after that?
Ben: We typically go out of town to find inspiration, all our previous collections have been inspired by trips internationally but since we are devoted to using British fabrics and productions we thought it would be nice to stay within the U.K. and we had our first proper U.K. road trip. We went all the way up to Inverness, Scotland where Sam’s family are from.
And we just walked around the lochs and met some people that ran some knitting factories and we just relaxed and got back to nature. The colour palette is very inspired by what we saw.
What were the inspirational highlights of this trip?
Sam: Bullard cemetery, all the lochs. There are so many of them but really Loch Lomond as it is actually a lake so you’re driving right up on the water’s edge. There are castles and mountains either side of you. It was pouring rain when we drove there and it was a really amazing experience.
And how is it influencing your designs?
Sam: The textures.
Ben: Like the lime green moss growing on the trees which looked almost like snowflakes and there is a soft tactile nature to a lot of our outerwear especially the raincoats.
You mentioned you encountered some knitwear factories, can we expect to see knits being incorporated into AW11?
Ben: This the first time we’re doing anything in terms of knit. It’s quite a big step for us. We’re doing some accessories and looking at building our relationship with wool and knitwear that way.
Images by Hayley Benoit.
Posted by Susan Walsh