Autumn Winter 2017

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Body Architectures
Laura Theiss
Autumn/Winter 2017

Architectural projects are divided in different phases: the sketching stage is followed by the creation of physical and digital models. When construction finally starts, the planned building is laid out step by step. Knitwear designer Laura Theiss followed the same approach for her Autumn/Winter 2017 collection.

Theiss sketched, then hand-made her crocheted and knitted swatches and finally assembled them together.

Skirts, tops and dresses were made combining traditional crocheted squares, but the latter were turned into tiles characterised by intricately petaled and radiant rose window-like motifs at their centre.

The aesthetic and technical possibilities of classic braid cable knits was explored in merino wool sweaters. Their configuration was deconstructed and the braids were undone to reveal painstakingly knitted and crocheted metallic yarn surfaces underneath. In some cases thick gray cable knit motifs were employed to create effects that mimicked the rib configuration of Gothic vaults or the supporting structures of suspended bridges.

Theiss played with proportional variations, twisting architectural formations in a feminine way: a dusty pink crocheted cocktail dress features a trellis-like motif in a bright metallic green yarn that calls to mind the web vault of the Lady Chapel in Wells Cathedral, Somerset.

Stratified geological systems and nature provided instead the designer with organic shapes such as the crocheted tectonic plates forming a unique black and white futuristic mille-feuille patterned dress.

The future was very much on Theiss’ mind: the designer employed digital techniques like her signature kaleidoscope motifs in her crocheted pieces and, inspired by technical glitches, introduced a variable in a dress with a black and white rhomboid figures pattern. Wearability remains a must, though, with an offer that includes functional pieces such as practical bomber jackets in organza and small accessories like crocheted gloves.

Fashion is transient and changeable, while architecture is grounded and permanent, but, moving from traditions, Laura Theiss’ designs accompany the wearers into the future, preserving the same timeless values of architecture

Written by Anna Battista