Natural Fibre on the Runway
Remember these sweaters from Sask Fashion Week 2013?
Here is how it all started....
A question was asked on Facebook inquiring about someone who could knit a few pieces for Sask Fashion Week and a friend/co-worker of my husband's
recommended me (thanks Kelcey Harasen!). I was contacted in Feb 2013 by Fashion Designer Riley Lawson to knit a couple of her designs for her fall/winter collection. We met and she showed me her drawings that she had made of two sweaters; one pullover and one cardigan, and we discussed details right down to the fibres. I had brought with me a couple swatches I knit in a few different yarns, and she decided that the pullover would be best knit with Baby Alpaca Glimmer from Diamond Yarns Luxury Collection. This amazingly soft yarn has a silver thread in it that really added to the awesomeness this sweater would become. Riley told me her favourite colour is shiny so we had a winner :P For the cardigan she chose Rowan's Creative Focus (Wool/Alpaca blend). This was beautiful yarn to work with and I loved every moment knitting with it. I was happy with both these yarn choices, as it showed that Riley had high standards in the quality of her designs and I was very happy that she wanted to include me in her ensemble. I was also humbled that she included me in her decision making process.
I got started right away as she needed both sweaters done before the photoshoot in early April. I started with the cardigan as I knew it would take me longer. I made all the pieces separately and blocked them with Soak Wash (Lacey scent). I knew I was really going to cut it close on time and I asked my very good friend Sara Yip if she could do the seaming for me. She was one of the only people I trusted, who I knew would do a professional job. I am so thankful for her as she didn't hesitate to help me out and not only did she do a professional job with the seaming she did it absolutely perfect! I don't know if I can thank you enough.
The pullover went much better, with the bulkier yarn and a looming deadline, I pondered which stitch pattern I could use that would give me the crosshatch pattern used in Riley's drawing. I knit up a swatch and sent it to Riley.
The photoshoot was April 13th at Kiriako Iatridis' studio. This was a new experience for me as I've never been to something like this before. It was very emotional to see the sweaters I had worked so hard on worn by professional models and seeing the pictures on the photographer's big screen was really remarkable and I don't have words to describe it.
The days leading up to Sask Fashion Week were very exciting. Riley showcased the pullover on Global News along with one of her eco-dyed blouses. I was itching to see everything come together on the runway and I brought Jeremy, my sister Nancy and Sara with me so we could experience it together. It was put on SO well, inside the tent it felt like we had entered another world, in a fancier city but this was all happening in Regina! Riley's collection was going to be later on in the evening but it was worth the wait! All the designers that night put out great collections and the collaboration of so many talented Saskatchewan people was really mind blowing. I know we have really creative people in this province but so many of them in one place was really cool. Here are a couple shots from that night:
The knee high socks in the centre were also knit by me. They have a really cool dropped stitch pattern with a hem at the top enclosed over an elastic. The yarn I used was Shibui Staccato (Merino/Silk) that was supplied to me by Riley. I used every last inch and finished them in 6 days.
As you may have heard, Riley won the award for Best Emerging New Designer for Sask Fashion Week 2013 for her designs and her wonderful collection. She received a standing ovation and I was so happy for her! She really deserved to win for designing items that can be worn to work as a professional in the city or her items are really adaptable for pairing with other items already in your wardrobe. My favourite piece in her collection were the eco dyed silk blouses. She used berries to naturally dye silk which not only makes these blouses one-of-a-kind but it also she created wonderful splashes of colour and a cool story for people who own the tops. On that note I also wanted to tell you that her collection is available at Stella and Sway downtown on Scarth street! You can see her designs up close and become the proud owner of a Riley Lawson design. You should check out her facebook page and her website, and this article on her award. She will be one to look out for in the city. She does fashion styling for the Cornwall Centre, morning segments on Global News, writes a column for Pink Magazine and so much more. Such a talented woman and I consider myself lucky to have had met/worked with her. Finally check out Sask Fashion week this year, you will love it!