Meet the designers for Laine Issue 12
In Laine Magazine 12, we present designs from 11 outstanding designers from around the world. Meet Alma Bali, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Luuanne Chau, Kristin Drysdale, Claudia Eisenkolb, Fabienne Gassmann, Tamy Gore, Dee Hardwicke, Claudia Quintanilla, Jeanette Sloan and Jutta Turunen.
French-Argentinian Alma Bali says she became a knitwear designer “a bit by surprise and a lot by taste”. Being an architect, she is used to turning ideas into concrete objects. Alma’s garments are both comfortable and stylish. She is attracted to clean lines and simple shapes, enhanced by a neat detail. Alma also loves historical fashion – the idea of skilled people investing huge amounts of time in the making of a single garment. Alma is good at making the most of a yarn’s special qualities and letting it shine through the right design.
For Laine 12, Alma designed Rues De Paris, a sweater that comes in two versions: cropped and regular length.
Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s mother is a seamstress who taught her the basics of clothing construction. In 2004, Olga found herself in a foreign country because of her spouse’s military service. She couldn’t take on usual work, so she turned her hobby into a passion and started publishing knitwear designs. Now Olga lives in Virginia, USA. She likes her clothing to be versatile, ageless and long-lasting. Olga describes her design style as “intellectual knitwear”. She likes to create three-dimensional stitch patterns and strives to make even simple patterns have a lot of teaching points.
For Laine, Olga designed Skylight: a top-down sweater with an unusual stitch pattern.
Luuanne Chau learned to knit about five years ago. She loved knitting other people’s designs so much that she wanted to create her own, so she began looking out for submission calls and started sending her proposals. Luuanne is a student living in California, USA. As a budding designer, she is currently exploring a variety of fabric characteristics and aesthetics. She particularly likes working with colour, cables and relaxed silhouettes. Knitting is her outlet for creativity and a means of creating something to be proud of.
For Laine 12, Luuanne designed Niveous: a top-down sweater featuring a geometric yoke.
When Kristin Drysdale was young, she used to sketch sweaters, mittens and hats in the margins of her notebooks in school. For her, knitting has always been a way to bring the things she imagines to life. Kristin lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. All of life inspires her: nature, flowers, art and also her Scandinavian heritage. Kristin tends to design for the people she loves, and most of her designs are named after someone in her family. Kristin thinks that knitting is a bit like a journal. She can look at something she knitted and remember what was going on in her life while she made it.
For Laine 12, Kristin designed Sørensdatter, a cropped cardigan filled with beautiful colourwork.
Claudia Eisenkolb lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband. She works for a big European IT provider four days a week. On Fridays, weekends, evenings – and sometimes also at night – she knits and designs. For Claudia, knitting is a way to express her creativity and pair it with technical and mathematical aspects. Nearly all of her patterns are seamless because she doesn’t like to sew pieces together. Claudia loves to play with geometrical and unusual shapes, structures, texture and cables. Most of her garments are monochrome wardrobe staples that look beautiful in all sizes.
For Laine 12, Claudia designed Woven Bands, a V-neck sweater with a cabled pattern on a reverse stockinette background.
Fabienne Gassmann started knitting seriously when she was a fashion student in Switzerland. Mainly because she couldn’t find the fabrics she wanted: she is a perfectionist and creating her own fabric meant having that extra bit of control over her designs. As a designer Fabioenne is quite technique driven, and her dream would be to have the time to try out as many techniques as possible. Fabienne lives in London with her wife and their young child. These days, knitting time has become more precious – and she is mastering the art of getting a few rows in while running after a toddler on the playground!
For Laine 12, Fabienne designed Viburna: a boxy jumper with alternating, textured stitch patterns.
Tamy Gore became a knitwear designer the unconventional way, having no background in the arts, textiles or design. Shortly after she learned to knit, her husband visited a local yarn store while on a work trip and bought her her first skein of indie-dyed yarn. It was beautiful, and Tamy decided to try her hand at designing with it. Tamy is inspired by the colours around her, especially the ones she sees in nature while out on walks, hiking or fishing. She loves the shades of autum and tries to implement a bit of brioche and slipped stitches into her patterns. Tamy lives in the south of New Jersey, USA, with her family.
For Laine 12, Tamy designed Honey Glow: a large, cosy shawl full of texture.
Dee Hardwicke trained in fine arts, and she has always loved working with a wide variety of materials, from yarn and clay to paper. Dee lives in Wales, surrounded by mountains and ancient woodlands, as well as gorgeous cottage gardens and pretty country lanes. She only has to step outside to feel inspired. As an artist, Dee is good at noticing the little details, and colourwork and putting motifs together come quite naturally to her. Each of Dee’s knits is inspired by a watercolour in her sketchbooks. She describes the process of knitting as being similar to painting, with each stitch being like a brushstroke of colour.
For Laine 12, Dee designed the Tulip Garden cowl and wrist warmers.
Claudia Quintanilla lives in Toronto, Canada. She emigrated there in 1990 to escape the civil war that had engulfed her home country, El Salvador. Claudia likes to design things that can be worn for ever, and she is inspired by the patterns in nature and architecture. Natural wools are also an inspiration: Claudia loves to squeeze the skeins, smell them and imagine them becoming something. Claudia knits all the time, everywhere, but she is most productive at night. For Claudia, knitting is a way of expressing herself and relieving tension. It has taught her patience and persistence.
For Laine 12, Claudia designed the Water Lilies pattern that comes in two versions: a cardigan and a pullover.
Jeanette Sloan lives in Brighton, England. She trained as a textile designer specialising in knitwear. Jeanette feels fortunate to have worked with fibre in lots of different guises: teaching machine-knitting, owning a yarn shop, designing hand knits… Many things inspire Jeanette. She loves exploring stitch libraries but also takes influences from pieces already in her wardrobe, and even random things, such as the texture on a ceramic plant pot. Jeanette enjoys designing with lace but with a modern twist, so she often combines it with ribbing and slipped stitches.
For Laine 12, Jeanette designed Teira: a generously proportioned, asymmetric shawl.
Jutta Turunen comes from the lake area of Päijänne in Southern Finland. She is inspired by traditional costumes and vintage clothes, but also Nordic austerity and simplicity in design. Jutta loves practical and warm clothes, but at the same time she loves that garments can have fanciful, sometimes hidden, details. Beautiful buttons, pretty clothes labels and ribbons at the back of a button band make her very happy. Jutta wasn’t any good at handicrafts at school. Learning to knit was a big step – she had to learn patience and tolerance for mistakes before actually learning the skill.
For Laine 12, Jutta designed Autio mittens with cable lattice, twisting cables and wrapped bobbles.