Textile design students of the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (Velia Dietz, Pina Jax, Sophie Probst, and Sarah Wendler) were able to open themselves up to the endless possibilities in the craft of knitwear. This joint project between the Stuttgart State Academy, Stoll Germany, and Zegna Baruffa expanded the creative challenges for the students from trend research to garment development.
The design process started out with simple hand-flat knitting machines as a catalyst for imagination. The students then moved on to the execution of their design on Stoll machines while learning the advantages and limits of both.
The theme was Flamboyant of the 19th century with the advent of the railroad. Like many oriental subjects in 19thcentury painting, exoticism in the decorative arts and interiors were associated with fantasies of opulence and barbaric splendor.
Pina Jax was inspired by the 1900 film divas including Marchesa Casati. “These divas love their furs and snakes,” said Pina. She wanted to deviate from the flat dimension of fur and spent 100 hours of knitting on the hand-machine (The knitting process on the industrial Stoll machines would have been even more time-consuming). “It really comes down to the details. My part in textile design is looking into the details.”
Sophie Probst was inspired by the architecture of New York City- the Empire State Building in particular. Sophie’s aim was to create a diva dress that was tight and elongated. She is often inspired by her interest in interior design and industrial designs.
Sarah Wendler focused on the craft of Plisse and feathers and “wanted it to be more of a sculpture that builds up… the sketch was exactly the same as the result, which is rare, because you usually have to compromise the design for the sake of technical issues.” While designing Sarah believes that the concept of fashion should “transport a situation with the clothes you wear”. Despite the historical context of the theme, Sarah wanted to intensify a modern an erotic flavor in an extravagant and opulent form.
Velia Dietz worked with the hand-knitting machine and was inspired by architecture. “I wanted to do something with NY”. She loved the clouds and wanted to use nylon yarns to give a sense of transparency. Velia wanted to maintain an interest in what the city looked like from the outside with an abstract visual element drawn from New York’s cityscape.
These four students found themselves illuminated by the existence of the New York garment district- a place where you could simply cross the street and buy trims and a wide range of fabrics. This exhibition is currently showing in the Stoll showroom in Manhattan until August 17.
Stoll Showroom New York
250 West 39th St.
New York, NY 10018