Being a handmade knitwear specialist, Amy is launching her first Spring/Summer Collection translating the theme of sportswear into light, vibrant, wearable summer knitwear. The combination works extremely well together and is sure to be a massive hit amongst fashionistas and shoppers.
`This spring/summer collection has forced me to re-calibrate how I approach my work. The way these pieces will be worn means that the collection had a different starting-point, from how we approached the materials and techniques used, to the collection`s palette.
`By presenting this summer knitwear collection I hope to challenge perceptions about hand-made knitwear, while creating wearable pieces to make women look and feel beautiful.â€
Inspiration for this range came from the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games offering slinky, figure hugging dresses and skirts and cropped tops and jumpers. Contrasting textures are achieved by combining oversized, chunky stitches with fine, mesh-like, lightweight knits.
I was extremely lucky to get an interview with the talented designer and here is what she had to sayâ€¦
Jamie: What is the inspiration behind your Spring/Summer 2012 Collection?
Amy: One of the greatest challenges for me was marrying the idea of `summer` and `knitwear` as it felt like a bit of an oxymoron. But once I got to work I found that all of the lightweight garments I was coming up with had a very sporty feel to them. I couldn`t help but be inspired by the 2012 Olympics as, in East London, it`s very difficult to get away from. I see the stadium at least once a week and I`m surrounded by news about it.
Jamie: Did you find it challenging to incorporate a sportswear theme into wearable knitwear?
Amy: Once the idea came into my head I was carried away with it, so it took care of itself. I just found that the colour palette and easy styles of the pieces felt very sporty without even trying to be.
Jamie: Describe the woman who wears your pieces.
Amy: She`s confident and knows what suits her, isn`t afraid to experiment with her look and try something different. She also appreciates the process of fashion, so high quality, hand-made garments appeal to her.
Jamie: What was it like to find out that your first two collections were featured in such high end fashion magazines such as Vogue and Grazia?
Amy: It`s been really exciting! Everything has been moving so fast lately, though. As soon as one thing happens I`m moving straight on to the next; I`ve barely had a moment to think about it.
Jamie: Did you always know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Amy: When I was a child it was my dream to be a fashion designer and somewhere in my mother`s house are many embarrassing `fashion` sketches along with some half-knitted scarves to prove it. But I changed direction a little in my teens and decided to do a photography degree. After a few years working in that industry I lost my passion for it and started to focus more on my knitting again and after working with Clare Tough, I knew that this was the direction that was right for me.
Jamie: Is there a reason that you decided to specialise in knitwear?
Amy: Apart from the fact that I have always knitted, it is due in part to the fact that I could never find quite what I wanted to wear in the shops. Knitwear is becoming ever more popular and there will always be a space for it – more than anything else it`s very practical in colder weather. But I just think knitwear is so versatile – you can do so much with knitted textures and there are so many weights and yarns to play around with. It`s never ending and that`s what excites me.
Jamie: Who are your Top 3 favourite designers and why?
Amy: I have been a fan of Vivienne Westwood for as long as I can remember – nobody can match her flare for design, her pieces are classics and never date. I absolutely love Erdem, such beautiful mouth-watering colours and prints. One other designer I`m paying a lot of attention to at the moment is Haider Ackermann – I love his silhouette, the jewel colours and the way he drapes fabric. Really sumptuous.
Jamie: Tell us about the highlight of your career so far.
Amy: I think it would have to be the Vogue piece.
Jamie: What is the SS12 trend you are most looking forward to?
Amy: I love all the white as it looks so fresh and `clean`, although I`m not sure I can say I am looking forward to wearing it – it wouldn`t stay white for very long on me!
Jamie: What do you have planned for future collections? Will there be a men`s range?
Amy: I keep on getting asked when I`m going to do menswear! I am thinking about it, you might see a couple of things appearing in future seasons.