We are very lucky to have worked on a live project with Sophie Steller and her trend driven Knitwear Studio for second year knit & weave’s first project this semester, leading to four work placements for two knit & weave students respectively in her studio in Twickenham, London.
A little bit about Sophie Steller and her company:
‘Our London based studio is home to a team of highly talented designers who have worked on projects for clients such as SPINEXPO, Novetex Spinners, TJ Maxx, AEO, GAP, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gant, A&F, Primark Stores, Marks & Spencer, H&M and Aroma Home.
We provide a wide range of knitwear related design services including:
- seasonal swatch collection
- colour & trend forecasting
- yarn development
- marketing & branding
- direct studio development
- mood & product boards
- concept fabrics’
We worked to an exciting brief set by Sophie, asking the students to approach their work in a more trend driven way. She asked the students to:
‘Develop your ability to research in a relevant, objective, and analytical way to be able to communicate your ideas with one strong, clear message.
The role of a designer is to find ways to creatively problem-solve. As a designer, whether you are designing your own collection, or working for a client you need to create desirability and suitability of your design to a consumer of some kind, and therefore whether you set the brief or the client does, you need to find the solution of creating something that someone else wants to consume.
The students were asked to:
‘Collect a range of 30-40 research images (these can be your own drawings or photographs, collage or a combination of all) of your own that observe and explore the following:
* Shapes * Textures * Colours * Atmosphere & mood * Touch & surface *
Be able to answer the following:
Why did you choose your subject and what did you found interesting and inspiring about it?
Once you went there what did you find out and observe?
Through your visual observations what did you find you liked about it and what ideas did it give to develop further?
What key elements have you identified as being important to inspire you?
From your observational research develop the following:
- A colour palette you can work with * Textures you like * Shapes or patterns you can extract from it *
- A mood or direction you can see it going into? Is it for menswear, womenswear or children? Is it dressy, contemporary, casual, sporty? Then develop your research into final fabrics and resolved garment or interior ideas that continue in this train of thought.’
The students then presented their final fabrics, presentation boards, and a Powerpoint presentation at the end of the six week project to Sophie Steller, and to tutors in their subject areas, Jane Landau for Woven textiles, and Sarah Elwick, & Lisa Burn-Hunter for Knitwear. The work was generally of a very high standard overall, and Sophie was very impressed with the work produced by the students. She will select her four students for internships in due course.
Well done to all involved. A great start to level two!