One of the benefits of being a friend of the V&A is that you are invited to various members only events. Last night I attended a talk by Craig Lawrence, a young knitwear designer who uses unusual materials and techniques to create garments that are somewhere between high fashion and art.
As a boy Craig was taught to knit by his Grandmother and he developed his technique at Central St Martin’s and whilst working with Gareth Pugh. He said he liked knitwear because he found the process of creating the fabric for a garment adds a dimension which would otherwise be missing. Originally he eschewed the use of traditional yarn because of the cost and started to look out for interesting materials he could use instead. He found pound shops and DIY stores could supply him with black bin liners and barrier tape; anything so long as it came in a long strand.
Many of the garment he knits are made on knitting machines but others are made by hand using extraordinarily fat needles. Some garments are made using a loop stitch and it will take up to 20 minutes to pull each loop through to get the right texture.
He has exhibited in Japan and Hong Kong as well as London and has dress Lady Gaga, Bjork and Tilda Swinton.
I love that the V&A supports young designers like this and gives them a platform to display their work. Craig’s garments are beautiful, innovative and inspiring; full of light and movement as if they have a life of their own.