Saturday, June 23, 2012

Inkle Woven Neck Wear Takes to the Runway

Early in April, I received the following message via e-mail: "I am a menswear design student from Central St Martins in London currently completing my final year collection which will show in May. As a part of the accessories for the collection I am looking to get several custom woven trims made up. I will be using these trims as neck wear inspired by the saxophone straps." 
My reply was, without hesitation, "Sounds like an interesting project to me! I'd love to work with you on this".

Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design is a constituent college of the University of the Arts, London. The school has an outstanding international reputation, and is considered one of the world's leading arts and design institutions. Working with Alex would give me the opportunity to take my weaving into a new form (men's neck wear) and onto the runway. 

A custom order usually goes something like this: If you tell me what you want, then I'm going to tell you what I can do that comes close to it and we will go from there. Ideas in someone's head or even drawn on paper often translate into the woven thread a little differently then they imagine.  Alex started by sending detailed sketches, photos which were snippets of pattern and color (including neon lights), a photo of a cloth mock-up and measurements. Even with this fantastic detail in his mind, he was flexible and welcomed my input on the project. Some of the original ideas were not weaveable so he morphed them into new ones. He had seen enough photos of my work to know that he liked my use of bold colors and trusted my judgement to put them together. And so went back and forth a long volley of messages and photos.

In the end, we agreed on these three designs. 

This one was my favorite. The blue is bamboo and the pinks are cotton. 
It draped better than the others which were all cotton. 

I worked diligently to finish them quickly and he paid for expedited shipping to get them to London in time to work with them before his show. And then Customs held them up for over a week. We both began to sweat, but they were tracked down and picked up in time. His mother graciously shared her photos of the fashion show with me and allowed their use here. I was thrilled to see my work on the runway! 
One day, I hope to see his name in fashion magazines and I will boast "Yes, I know Alexander Rouach. I worked with him on some of his early designs."  


  1. WOW!!! How wonderfully amazing to see your beautiful work on the runway! I love the teal/turquoise and pink one and what a fabulous way to photograph them around a model's neck together! They make such an impact! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

  2. Wow! How snazzy! Great photos!!!! Woo hoo! (Can you tell that I am excited for you?)

  3. Just beautiful, what a creative way to uses the inkle bands! I love the colours and the designs. Great photos.Félicitations! ( congratulations)

  4. Annie..... I am tremendously thrilled for you. Great photos, great work, thanks for sharing. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS. Big hugs... Carol

  5. The teal/black zigzag one is stunning. It looks very 3D!
    Congrats on getting a budding designer's attention.

  6. Wonderful story. They do look amazing and go so well on the model and his 'look'. Bravo.
    Love Debra (AllThingsPretty) via TAFA :)

  7. Annie, how cool!!! Congratulations! Your bands look stunning. I love the way he made them the focus of the outfit. What a fun post to read, too!