Over the years we have done lots of projects with the Contemporary Textiles students at the Shetland College and yesterday we visited them again to see the results of our last brief with them. There were just two students taking part in this part of the unit this time but there was great quality to both the finished garments and they both were inspired by their own cultures in different ways.
First up was Andrea Ordùna who was inspired by Ponchos from her native Chile and also the colours and stripes of flags in South America. There is a kind of poncho called a ‘Chomanto’ which is reversible and has a light and dark side and this also played into her design.
Andrea was also inspired by Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubo of Comme De Garcons, this led to the asymmetrical aspects to the design and the unusual arm gap which added structure and shape to the Poncho, a traditionally shapeless garment. Andrea used 2ply Jumper Weight and Shetland Heritage together in the garment and machine knitted the 4 panels, the finishing was brilliant and so professional.
Next up was Rhea Kay, Rhea is from Whalsay – one of Shetland Outer lying islands and she was inspired by the strong culture of Fair isle knitting in Whalsay.
She looked at photos from her family members of traditional Fair Isle but also looked at the Shetland Nature for inspiration for colours. She did alot of swatching at looking at contemporary knitting brands like Gudrun & Gudrun.
She eventually decided to make a cropped jumper featuring Fair Isle motif, modified by her to fit in with the aesthetic she was looking for. She used Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace and Shetland Heritage and made a beautiful cropped jumper, a very contemporary shape with traditional features. Again the finishing was really professional and I can imagine wearing it myself!
As always it was a joy to visit the college and see how the students decided to work with our yarns, every year the standard gets better and better.