Coal Cardigan: A conversation with designer Véronik Avery
Posted by Jonathan on
We wrap up this week's blog posts with our third and final interview with Design Team member Véronik Avery. Véronik joined our design team in the Fall of 2012 – this collection marks her first year of working with us at BT. We got together this morning to chat a little about her Coal Cardigan design. ... ... JF: Happy Friday, Véronik! Thanks for joining me today. VA: Hi, Jared! Thank you for inviting me to join you here. I've been looking forward to it. JF: I have always loved the way you combine a sensibility for traditional, classic knitwear with a modern (sometimes unexpected) twist. How would you describe your aesthetic when designing sweaters? VA: I think my aesthetic is always evolving, but certain elements do return time and time again. I like having a sense of history as well as a story, which probably stems from my past costume design aspirations. Because of it, I don't dress myself as much as I dress characters – whether real or imagined. JF: What was your inspiration for the Coal Cardigan design? VA: With the Coal Cardigan, I began as I often do with sketches. Sometimes a garment is already in mind before I pick up a pencil, but other times I simply start by playing with silhouettes and filling them in in various ways before an idea starts to take shape. With Coal, the idea was quite abstract and as the sketch started to take shape, it began to look like a knitted motorcycle jacket. Since I am not a big fan of literal renditions - especially knitted ones - I continued to strip it down to the elements which interested me most, such as the asymmetrical closure. JF: There is some shaping on the back panel as well that contributes to the overall fit, yes? VA: Yes there is – because I wanted to simplify the front shaping, I opted to flare out the back side seams, borrowing from shoulder shaping that is worked with twice as much angling in back so as to keep the front shoulder straight. ... ... JF: Can you tell our readers a little more about the knitted details featured in the design? VA: The traveling cables on the fronts necessitated several rounds of swatching; I tried increasing and decreasing, but my fabric formed such a bias that I worried that only enthusiastic blocking could straighten it. I then tried a more richly cabled surface knit with traveling stitches as in the final version, but all drape was lost. In the end, I opted for a more minimal amount of cabling and diagonal lines of knitted stitches against a reverse stockinette background. JF: Where and how do you envision this garment being worn "in the wild"? VA: Oh, there are so many options! One could style it in a streetwise way, and pair it with a slim fitting skirt or pants - perhaps leather ones. I know my daughter will probably wear it with one of her several pair of brightly colored mens-style trousers once it returns home and perhaps a pair of white Doc Martens. JF: And how about styling for yourself? VA: Were it in my size, I'd probably opt for an interesting skirt and tall leather boots. JF: Versatility is such a great quality in knitwear – it's one of the things I love about the genre. The design is great – thanks again for chatting more about it with me today, V! VA: Anytime, Jared. Have a great day!