>> I've recently written a piece for the October issue of Elle UK about a new generation of knittists (aka an interesting set of knitwear designers) that are coming up in London and it seems the knittist movement is spreading across the Atlantic. I'm now in New York for fashion week and probably one of the few European press here to darn early, which gave me an opportunity to check out the lower key shows of NYFW such as Lindsey Degen's presentation yesterday. Degen started knitting aged three and over the years, used her skills to tell stories with experimental pieces that crossover both art and apparel. She then honed her skills at Central Saint Martins and the Rhode Island School of Design and launched her debut collection last season. There's a whiff of Cooperative Designs about Degen's work and it actually turns out that Degen worked with the London-based knitwear duo (which is sadly no more now…) and she also joins another NY-based knitwear label ALL, as yet another knittist who is trying to overturn pre-existing knit conventions and literally use yarn to tell a tale or two.
In the context of New York presentations, Degen definitely skews the more unusual end of the scale and S/S 13 was no different. Flower Power! Pizza! Pastels! It's an unlikely combo that works because you can't help but smile at the guy wearing a t-shirt with a knitted pepperoni slice on the front. Actually, the casting was jolliness all round as the models pulled faces and threw some shapes at the presentation, injecting an exuberance into the clothes. The fact that it's a spring summer collection didn't hamper Degen's enthusiasm for incorporating texture as thin machine knitted tees, vests, shorts and leggings are topped with crochet detailing or loose yarns dangling like tassels. The shoes got the audience snapping away as Degen collaborated with Converse to stack the heels with two chunky platform blocks, adorned with googly eyes and tie dye and paired with the cutest of cute knitted socks. No wonder the models were bouncing off the walls.