Traditional makes a youthful comeback with the 2012 Wool School campaignFashion & Lifestyle
It’s part resurrection of the traditional British heritage industry, and part ethical fashion initiative to promote Britain’s favourite fabric as a natural and sustainable fibre. Wool, that age old of staples is back and in a big way. Hip designers such as Mark Fast and Sibling/Sister by Sibling, who specialise in knitwear, are breathing new life into the humble fleece: their sleekly modern designs showcase the versatility of wool and its capacity to be part of a fashion-conscious wardrobe over functional warmth and work wear.
Seizing the moment, the Campaign for Wool – of which Prince Charles is patron – has launched the 2012 Wool School, a new project where design students compete to create sweaters for some of Britain’s top fashion brands, including TopShop, M&S, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, DAKS, Hackett, Paul Smith, Jigsaw and Pringle.
The brief was to showcase the beauty of wool as a natural, sustainable fibre and under the guidance of the Wool School, students were paired with a retail partner and given the opportunity to create a wool-rich jumper. One design per retailer has been chosen as the winning design and gone into production to be available in stores to coincide with National Wool Week (15th -21st October).
At a private press presentation this week showcasing the winning designs and designers themselves, The Upcoming spoke with Jigsaw winner Hannah Simpson, the Buckinghamshire university graduate whose designs (Hannah produced two designs, one for Jigsaw and one for Jigsaw Menswear) particularly caught our eye. Hannah’s 100% Merino wool jumpers feature a traditional cable knit, which would usually go vertically down a garment, but instead run horizontally, which she told us was inspired by the anachronistic feeling of architecture, which she also used to give the cable knit depth.
We also liked Emma De Varies design for fashion chain Hobbs featuring London’s unofficial mascot, the fox, and Eleanor Cox’s forest green shawl neck cardigan for Hackett – two cosy yet chic offerings perfect for the forthcoming cold season.
Ian Michael Turner
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