Sandra Backlund is known for creating a meticulously crafted line of sculptural knitwear. Season after season, her wooly creations defy fast fashion by thoughtfully combining the art of sculpture, craft and style to make a timeless, trendless piece.
So often, we tend to associate exclusive designers of knitwear as makers of sculptural, inaccessible pieces of clothing—take for instance the beautifully crafted $4,000 Rodarte sweaters—but Backlund’s two most recent collections have taken a more simple approach. For Fall 2010 and Spring 2011, the designer’s collections included more minimal pieces in black, gray, and nude while still maintaining their sculptural edge. Perhaps this new direction has come from Backlund’s recent move to expand her label. In 2009, the designer partnered with one of the top Italian manufacturers of knitwear. With this partnership, Backlund hopes the line can reach more people while still maintaining elements of the slow, painstaking manual craft inherent in knitwear.
Still though, Backlund says technique and material remain the most important elements of her collections. For her Spring 2011 collection, the designer used metal yarn made from 100% copper—a material Backlund has been seeking for six years—to achieve a greater silhouette. Not to worry though, the designer says the yarn is completely wearable.
I, too, hope such sculptural pieces can eventually have a broader reach. Like I said, I love the simplicity of Backlund’s two recent collections. Her Autumn line was elegant though its minimalistic construction, but Backlund’s Spring designs are both edgy and simple—like that braided cropped jacket(!)—and are most certainly a welcome revival!
(photo by Thomas Klementsson)