Saturday, 5 March 2011

UCLU MODO Fashion Show!

It happened! This show I have been cryptically talking about all year finally happened! I presented an 8 piece knitwear collection across two nights as part of the UCLU MODO Fashion Show. In addition to designing my own collection, I have also directed 27 other designers through their design process and show production - so this has been a pretty big deal for me! Fancy a peek?! All of these photos were taken by Josh Blacker, a fellow UCL student. All models are also UCL students.

The concept of the collection is of a tree passing from summer through the depths of winter. It's fresh buds are replaced by juicy fruits and then a slow change to brown. This is then interrupted by the first snow, who leaves behind only the finest leaf skeletons, which then fall from the branches.

The first look was worn by Jenna and consists of handknit socks of my own design (this pattern excites me, but needs some work!) shorts inspired by Marnie McLean's Assets of Evo (ravelry link) and a cape made from handknit then machine felted panels, and a sewn lining. Thanks to my lovely boyfriend Andrew for help sewing this!

The second look consists of handknit socks inspired by Aimee Skeers' Twinkle Twinkle Little Socks (ravelry link) and another pair of hotpants, as well as a t-shirt of my own design. This pattern is in need of a lot of work, but I want a nice simple t-shirt pattern, so it will be improved upon soon!

The third look consists of a "cardicape" of my own pattern, and some quick and dirty spats modeled by Urvi. This cardicape is one of my favourite pieces in the collection, and the pattern is just awaiting some formatting changes, tech editing and test knitting before we are ready to go!

The fourth look is an oversized boxy jumper dress modeled by Sofia. This jumper is quick, comfy and unusual, although simple enough for advanced beginner knitters. She is also wearing the women's Brick by Brick socks in Sweet Clement Smitten, colourway "Mahogany". This pattern too is just about ready to be sourced out to tech edit.

The fifth look, modeled by Helen, contains a hat pattern that I have been developing, a yoke necked jumper of my own design and leggings inspired by Joan McGowan Michael's Leggings with Mesh Sides (ravelry link) from the book Knitting Lingerie Style. I highly recommend this book, I've made a number of things from it, and I find it very refreshing to see a book like this pushing the boundaries of flattering feminine knitting.

The sixth look is my men's look. I decided to do a men's look as in MODO we have some excellent male models but almost all female designers, many of whom prefer to design for themselves. However, I feel like a complete convert to menswear. I loved making this look from start to finish. The jumper, Layers of Ice, is soft as soft and a constant source of compliments, and the socks, the men's version of Brick by Brick, are lovely too. I may be biased due to the cashmere content of the yarns used (Debbie Bliss Como & Easyknits Cashmere/Merino/Nylon) but I doubt it.

My 7th look, modeled by Georgia, is my favourite. This dress is based around the Not a Drop stitch pattern by Arlene's World of Lace (ravelry link). I've transformed it into a dress by introducing a backwards loop cast on, side shaping, I-cord straps and a crochet edging. I've already had several offers of purchase, but this is staying with me forever! The socks are Reversing Leaves by Cat Bordhi (ravelry link) from The Knitter's Book of Wool.

The eighth and final look, modeled by Tori, consists of lace wristwarmers (I love them, pattern will be available), a highly intricate lace snood using 1 skein of Habu Textiles 100% bamboo viscose (1oz, 525ish metres), and a puddle of fallen knitted leaves around the model's feet. This look represents a tree in the depths of winter, it's spiny branches in the angluar snood, and the pile of dead leaves at or falling towards its base.

I'll post more photos and a link to the video as soon as I have them! Hopefully this has stimulated your interest for now!


  1. The Show was fantastic - thanks so much for a really great night! The 7th look was my favourite, the pattern and shape of the dress were just beautiful. I ended up taking sooo many pictures, I am still working through picking out the best ones! Hope you are enjoying a well deserved lazy Sunday :). x

  2. Looks amazing Michaela! You must have worked so hard but it's clearly paid off. Well done!! xx

  3. Wow. Your collection is wonderful! I feel very honoured that you found the stitch pattern I developed, worth using it for a dress. I wish you big success with your knitwear designs.
    best wishes, Anne aka Arlene