We went backstage and into the design studio with Suffolk knitwear star Craig Lawrence to find out the thinking behind this season’s silvery collection of luminous, gossamer threads.
Craig Lawrence’s S/S 13 moodboard glows with twisted lights and reflective bubble wrap, black and white images signalling Lawrence has abandoned colour this season. In translation, that meant phosphorescent pieces made from reflective, clear and metallic yarn, served up in the Portico Rooms at Somerset House in front of funhouse mirrors. The London-based designer told Wonderland: “My S/S 2013 collection is inspired by fairy-tales, including the Armenian folk tale of Anaeet and the weaving of secret messages.”
It’s no secret Lawrence uses texture to convey his message. The focus of the collection was on the silhouette, from tiered peekaboo knits to elegant body-skimming gowns to dresses covered with explosive silver hair.
The painting on the moodboard of the woman sat weaving is of Anaeet from Armenian folklore, which tells of a prince who weaves secret messages into brocade to save himself and his princess from an evil priest. Pretty appropriate: Lawrence, who created knitwear for Gareth Pugh for the first six seasons, is a modern day prince of knitwear. The Central Saint Martins graduate unravels tradition and consistently pushes the boundaries of his craft with wild experiments in texture.
But besides obsure Eastern European fairy tales, the real showstopper was in the final moments of the collection when Lawrence’s inspiration from luminous undersea plankton and jellyfish became clear. When the lights went down for the final walk and camera phones flashed furiously, the knit revealed its secret message – combining optic fibres with the signature Kyototex yarn, it reflects light and flash photography. Magic.
Words: Emma Spedding
Images: Mark Rabadan