Spring Summer 2020

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“The Tale of the Ocean Spring Summer 2020

In Ilya Repin’s painting “Sadko” the fairytale hero is portrayed staring at an enchanted procession of half-human and half-aquatic girls passing in front of him. Bathed in a golden light and surrounded by underwater creatues, each girl is dressed in a fantastic attire. Could such a dreamy and magical moment take place in our times, in which the oceans and their creatures are threatened by pollution?

Knitwear designer and crochet artist Laura Theiss moved from this question for her Spring/Summer 2020 collection.

The designer retained the romanticism of the fairy tale in her palette, comprising dusty rose, lavender, turquoise, mint, aqua and yellow-green. Cotton yarns in these shades were combined with thin metallic threads to reproduce the effects of the sun glistening on the water, while dark tones were employed to hint at the still unexplored depths of our oceans.

Theiss’s new collection features designs for modern princesses: asymmetrical half-and-half dresses point at the duplicity of mermaids, while nodding at the split-look trend; delicate graphic motifs reproduce on crocheted dresses the movement of the waves, evoking the sea, while fan-like elements on below the knee A-line dresses are reminiscent of the decorations of the Sea Queen costume imagined by painter Mikhail Vrubel.

Some of the designs observe the interaction between marine fauna and flaura: in the crocheted patterns you may spot a starfish or the exuberant fragile beauty of a jellyfish, while large appliqued floral motifs bloom on plain T-shirts like aquatic plants.

Densely crocheted white elements appliqued around the shoulder area or on one sleeve evoke corals, and remind us that these splendid creatures are being bleached of colour due to rising water temperatures, while a black mesh dress is not just a sensual versatile piece, but a call for responsible fishing.

Theiss’s journey through the oceans and the unexplored depths is also sustainable: the designer mainly works with crochet artisans who, following traditional patterns reinterpreted for modern silhouettes, make by hand the garments using natural fibres, bringing in this way time-honoured traditions into the future.

Written by Anna Battista


Photographer: Jennifer Weyland
Model: Sophie @SMC Model Management
Styling: Nadine Markhofer
Hair and MakeUp: Miriam Regitz