Last time I spoke to Sandra Backlund, we grazed over some of the issues that hampers her beautiful and almost overwhelming knitwear – specifically, the fact that she isn't actually stocked anywhere and has only ever made clothes to sell on a personal order basis. Over a cup of tea on my last day in rainy San Francisco last year, Sandra openly pondered the commercial viability of her knitwear – how is it possible to translate her painstakingly hand knitted pieces that she does all by herself, in her studio in Stockholm to something sitting on a rack in saym Dover Street Market, available in sizes S, M and L. It seems like she has found one solution to this problem.
I asked Anna Battista, a Dazed Digital contributor to delve deeper into Sandra Backlund's latest collaboration with Italian knitwear company Maglificio Miles, that has worked with the likes of Azzedine Ala√Øa, Sonia Rykiel and more recently, Lanvin. The results of the collaboration were on display at White Club, some of the images having been posted by the lovely Diane and it's a tightly edited four piece all-black mini collection that is a distilled essence of what Sandra Backlund does. It's a tentative, rightly-cautious foray into allowing her designs to be recreated on a machine, a step that Sandra was scared to take. Now the results can be seen for themselves and me thinks this collab might prove to unlock Sandra's commercial potential. Practical finepoints are already solved; for instance the pieces as a result are lighter than her usual handmade samples. Whilst, she's keen to maintain her handmade work, making them more special and personal to the wearer, I feel like it won't be too long before buying into Sandra Backlund's magic way with sculpturally formidable knitwear will soon be a reality.