Friday, 14 March 2014

working class' power shoulders

Carrie-Ann Stein is a London-based designer born
in Lancashire who gave up a reliable career in law
to pursue fashion: year after year she began to feel
unfulfilled realizing that she was actually made to
work in a creative environment rather than in a
prescriptive one so she went back to study recently
obtaining her first class BA (Hons) in fashion design
with knitwear from Central Saint Martins.

Intrigued by fabric making - she is descended from a
family of weavers - Carrie-Ann briskly developed a
conceptual, bit androgynous, British-cool style inspired
by working class culture with outstanding textile 
combinations and bold prints.

Her AW 2014 collection's starting point was the double
meanings Carrie-Ann observes in street signs around
North England having discovered that wall banners
”work very well as a communicative tool with printed 
 garments” in conceptual continuity with 'Postcards
from Blackpool', her knitwear graduate collection
that made waves straightaway being recognized by
London Fashion Scout, the renowned talent platform,
as one of the 'Ones to Watch' designers.

Rectangular shapes mimicking wall banners are wittily
framed with huge metal eyelets protruding from the
shoulders host various signage such as shop fronts
and boardinghouse vacancy signs with humorous
sentences like 'clearance knitwear centre' or 'landlady's
parking only' subtly suggesting a stroll along Blackpool's
waterfront, are paired with slender silhouettes in 
vivid colors, laminated and dyed-flocked fabrics.

Tight jersey separates, pencil and panelled skirts,
knee-length pants and sweater tops are accessorized
with printed holdalls, ankle pop socks and silver stilettos
in a kicky collection showing the willingness to take risks
in terms of wearability (except for the sleeker pieces)
that keeps alive the designer's experimental vocation:
paraphrasing a time-honored song by John Lennon,
clothes for working class heroines who want 
to be like the folks on the hill.

> all images © by Andrew Edgecumbe <

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