Today I have a special post for you. Not many of you know, but other than being a knitwear designer full time at Duende Fashion I’m also a knitwear design instructor at Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art where I’m also a Masters Degree student (Yup, I’m a busy bee).
As part of my studies, for this semester, I took a menswear tailoring class at the prestige Shenkar College Fashion Department. Thought I could have chosen any of the other classes, I somehow felt that the combination of tailored garments and menswear is so far from what I am designing on a regular basis, that I will learn the most out of it.
The work process in the class, which was led by one of Israel’s most prominent menswear designer Yossi Katzav, is very different from my design process at my own studio. At first we had to find an inspiration for the project. I chose Anish Kappor and his Sky Mirror project. In this unique body of work, Kappor uses a large highly polished stainless steel dish; it can go from 6 to about 11 meters in diameter, as a giant mirror, placed in a parks such as Kensington Gardens, London and Wellington Circus, Nottingham (or in another case in the middle of Rockefeller Center) and its surface reflects the ever-changing environment. I was drawn to the influence the mirrors had on its surroundings in the nature, and to the interesting connection between the shiny metal and the nature around it. (You can see more about it here )
My inspiration + sketchbook
I than started the design process, many sketches and fabric search, knitting (well I had to) and understanding a whole new world of men’s clothing, like dress shirts and jackets. For the first time I used Illustrator to showcase my designs (I usually hand sketch the ideas to myself than go straight to work).
We decided to go with an ensemble that included a grey tailored jacket that had a knitted collar, deep blue French Terry (a kind of a knit) tailored pants and a unique a symmetrical button down shirt, made of hand dyed silk-cotton blend. I felt this would best portray my ambition as well as my specialty and love for knitting. I started working on the patterns, fittings and working on the final garment I had to present to the judges.
I was working and learning, sewing and knitting, dyeing and drying, a perfectionist like myself, I had to get all the details just right, down to the inside trims, where I used a vintage Turkish ribbon I have bought while I was travelling.
The day of the presentation and a detail of the inside trim.
This is the final garment, the judges were very happy and I got one of the highest scores in my class. I must say it inspired me to do some menswear, and knowing myself, it is just a matter of time…
So how do you like it? Do I have a future in menswear?