26 February 2010

One to watch – Derek Lawlor

While having a wander through the exhibition at the On/Off venue of LFW last week, we spotted some amazing looking structured jackets, embellished with woven cord. Further examination proved them to be the work of recent fashion graduate, Derek Lawlor.

Wondering if we’d ever seen this technique before, we’ve delved a little deeper in Derek's world. Primarily a knitter, his pieces are also temptingly wearable – although the intricate sculptural forms on the pieces is quite experimental, his restraint in the simple shapes of the jackets, dresses and tops, plus the way he sticks to a palette of black, grey and navy, means a fashion forward but busy girl would have no qualms about incorporating a Lawlor piece into their everyday wardrobe.

The designer himself, who left Central Saint Martins this time last year with a Distinction for his MA Knitwear tucked under his arm says; ‘I wanted to introduce the idea of different textures within my new collection. Combining mohair, cashmere, moleskin and wax cotton allows me to manipulate different composi­tions and produce sculptural pieces to offer an edgy, modern take on bespoke knitwear.’

Meanwhile the fashion editors have noticed his work too. Sarah Mower described his graduate show as ‘fabulous knitwear’ on vogue.com and the Telegraph’s Hilary Alexander earmarked him as one of her top-tips out of all the new designers this season.

We also happen to know that Derek, who grew up in Sussex and whose studio is based in London’s Hoxton hasn’t let any of the praise go to his head and is a real gent. AND! that a few of London’s most clued up buyers were hot on his trail last week so it mightn’t be too long before you can see his designs in a posh window display . . . and then you might just have to go in and buy one!

- Naomi Attwood


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