The students from the School of Design at the Royal College of Art in London recently showcased some of their current developments during the Work in Progress show, which took place at the Kensington Campus. The College has two separate knit courses: knitted textiles, a specialism of the Textiles MA, and knitwear, part of the Fashion MA. Traditionally, the knitted textiles students would develop fabrics for either fashion or interiors, whilst the knitwear students would focus on shapes and silhouettes rather than stitch structures.
Some of the students at the Royal College don’t come from a traditional knit background, and because of this their vision of what knitwear should be about is very fresh, innovative, fearless and not constrained by some of those boundaries that most very experienced people in this field have.
The work of Rebecca Marsden is characterised by sporty, open structures with skin tight performance fabrics. Digital and hand craft skills collide in her garments: fine gauge engineered fabrics are layered with more organic, chunky structures developed on hand flat machines.
Functional silhouettes that allow for movement and performance (Rebecca is a keen silk acrobat) hug the body in sharp suits, whilst heavier knit structures distort conventional body shapes, at times enhancing or reinventing them. Rebecca is also developing some experimental samples where expandable foam and silicone are pushed through her knitted meshes.
There is a very cinematic quality to these fabrics, they look very much like a still frame from some sort of explosion, or eruption. Rebecca is experimenting with ways to incorporate these ideas into her garments.