by Esther Adams
Photo: Martin Zahringer/Courtesy of Craig Lawrence
“Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel….” Craig Lawrence is not exactly singing, more talking me through the lyrics of the Dusty Springfield song “The Windmills of Your Mind” that prompted his circular-theme collection for fall. “It came on in the studio one day, so I decided to go with the idea,” he shrugs nonchalantly. To say the results turn traditional knitwear conventions on their head would be an understatement. But Lawrence has never done anything else. Even during his tenure as knitwear maestro for Gareth Pugh (while still a fledgling student at Central Saint Martin’s), Lawrence has diligently pushed past the boundaries of his knitting machine.
The silhouette came from the construction itself,” continues the five-time New Gen award-winner of his painstaking stop-turn-start technique that formed spiral after spiral in varying sizes until he’d achieved long, languid, ladder-stitched dresses, high-waist pants, full skirts, and chain-mail boleros in sumptuous metallic Kyototex yarns. But his meticulous efforts paid off, as this decadent vision of high-octane eveningwear (inspired in shape by the contents of his grandmother’s discarded seventies closet) is steadily breaking the cycle of knitwear purely for day or club, and moving it confidently into the luxury arena.