What a weird way to start a trend report! Let me begin with introducing you to Li Edelkoort (unless you already know who she is). You could say that Li ‘invented’ trend scouting or forecasting and made it her business to sell carefully researched and curated information (from all aspects of human life, i.e. politics, environment, socio-economics, culture, architecture, art, you name it) to fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
Emma, very en vogue with her Cashmere Kätzchen
Twice a year her trend agency Trend Union publishes a dossier containing trend forecasts on colours, styles and themes. Needless to say, other companies followed and so I ended up working for a trend agency in Paris, fresh out of school and excited to dip my toes into the fashion world. It was an exciting time. I loved the tissu-teque (the library of the season’s new fabrics), finding the right fabrics for the theme we were working on, the street style hunts, the museum visits, scouring the book shops to find patterns in what they were displaying. Trend analysis and forecasting in a broader and more theoretical sense was like a social study about mankind, what was happening now and what was going to happen. In a practical sense, it became dull so very quickly, so back to Li Edelkoort who just put perfectly in writing what I have felt for years: Fashion is dead. Long live Clothing! What she states in the interview sums up the manifest titled Anti-Fashion, which she read instead of her usual trend report this spring season. It is about the failure of fashion schools to train students to work in a team oriented way rather than become megalomaniacal ‘geniuses’, biased editorials in fashion magazines showcasing only established brands that can afford to pay for product placement, inducement hungry bloggers who will praise any new collection, worthy or unworthy, and marketing agencies ruining the whole thing for everybody. She’s got to say something to everyone and it’s not good. Basically, the fashion industry has rendered itself obsolete, a farce of what is has once been.
Oh dear, sounds terrible doesn’t it? I think not. Fashion might have gone out of style, but clothes surely haven’t. Clothes provide warmth and shelter from the elements, clothes are practical and pretty, clothes existed before fashion was invented. As knitters and crocheters we can smile, nod – and continue doing what we’ve been doing all along: make high quality, long lasting, beautiful and practical garments and accessories that work for us and leave other people slightly envious of our skill, or better yet, keen to learn. I don’t know about you, but I’m always excited to try things I haven’t done/worked with before, so I did a little research on new products and patterns to share with you:
Yes, you heard correctly: Pastels are everywhere. Slightly skeptic at first, I actually love the composition of colours from our inventory (and the tissue paper, of course).
Pastels for everyone! Top row from left: Twist Light by Madelinetosh in Neon Peach, Moonstone, Edison Bulb, Happiness and Fluoro Rose
Bottom row: Heirloom, 100% Romney by Elemental Affects in Butternut, Hysop, Mullein, Hubbard and Sweet Pea
Evening Calm from Amirisu Spring 2015, image courtesy of amirisu
Cables and other textured stitches give character to springy tops and sweaters . Top favourite for me is Evening Calm from the new Amirisu Spring 2015 that just arrived in the shop. Runner-ups are Sous Sous, Margo Poncho and Allongé Tee. Style-wise vests are having a comeback, and who could be mad about that when you see Penny? All patterns mentioned are currently available at our brick and mortar, while supplies last. For the seamstresses and regarding vests, Purl Soho just released a very classic and stylish Quilted Wool Vest pattern that I am dying to make.
The age old and the new are cropping up in form of raffia and soy or milk fibres. The two latter materials are spun in a viscose process to form versatile new age yarns and textiles, whereas raffia has been around for a long time and seems to be planning a serious comeback. Stay tuned to see what pops up in our shop!
In response to overconsumption, mass production and consequently poor quality products, the shift towards the American made/ locally made does not only concern where our produce and food comes from, yarn and fibre are next. We carry many American and locally produced products like Jill Draper Makes Stuff, Nele K, needle gauges and Lucky U Leather stitch markers. And, of course our fantastic in-house patterns.
And because we love it so much…another Cashmere Kätzchen!