Jules: A Conversation with Designer Julie Hoover
Posted by Jonathan on
Today we continue our Design Team Conversations series with Julie Hoover. Julie joined our team in the Fall of 2012 and has been designing regularly for Brooklyn Tweed since. Today Julie and I talk a little bit about her design aesthetic and her new garment Jules from our Fall Collection. ... ... JF: Good morning, Julie! Thanks for joining me in blog land. Ready to talk shop a bit? JH: Good morning, Jared! I'm ready – fire away! JF: You definitely bring a clean, sophisticated aesthetic to our team. When it comes to designing knitwear, how would you describe your style? JH: While the answer is somewhat nuanced in my head, I would say my style is the intersection where modern meets classic. To me, that translates to a style that feels very fresh and contemporary but will still remain at home in your closet over time. A minimal aesthetic reads consistently throughout all my work – whether it’s putting together an interior space or designing print packaging – and clearly, this translates into my knitwear designs: simple, perfected details, nothing too fussy or overcomplicated. JF: Jules is a fantastic shape and both comfortable and flattering when worn. What was your inspiration for this piece? JH: I love how Jules came together. My starting point for this piece was the cocoon shape. I’ve been somewhat obsessed with non-traditional hemline treatments as a design feature, and I think the cocoon shape is one of the most flattering on most figures. I’ll experiment more with this shape, for sure. Even though I envisioned short sleeves, I also wanted to create a piece that could be worn from fall through winter, so I chose to go with Shelter instead of Loft to create a warmer fabric. Even with the short sleeves, it’s still warm enough to be worn alone. The cable detail was also part of my original plan, although it wasn’t until I started thinking in terms of construction that I decided to put some of the shaping inside (between) the cables to enhance the silhouette. Visually, it widens the cables from hemline to shoulders rather than having them travel straight up vertically. JF: I love that detail. It works as a sort of slimming optical illustion too, which is great on a boxier shape like this. We all knew you loved this garment from the very beginning – you were psyched to get started on it in our initial concept meeting for the collection. JH: Any garment I’m keen to give my own nickname has to be a personal favorite, right!? ... ... JF: You like designs that feature a healthy amount of wearing ease, and often have an oversized fit or feel. Can you talk a little bit about that? JH: Oh yes, guilty. If you were to look in my closet, the majority of my wardrobe fits into two camps. I have dozens of tailored button-up shirts, men’s style slacks and skirts from my agency work days. I also have a large pile of casual linen tops and boyfriend jeans for my mom and work-from-home life. When it comes to my collection of knitwear, those pieces create the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between those two worlds – easily layered, stylish, comfortable, and appropriate either place. An oversized fit just works for putting a tick in all of those checkboxes. It’s the fit I gravitate toward, almost every time. JF: (You're preaching to the choir here – you know I love a good oversized woolly sweater, too!) Our collections often include subtle details that can sometimes be overlooked or missed when viewers are looking at the images alone. Are there special details about the Jules pullover that you'd like to highlight for our readers? JH: I think the photos used for this collection capture the details of Jules very well. Perhaps the only thing that doesn’t come across is the dolman sleeve shaping. The same goes for Idlewild. If the model had been captured in a pose with her arms outstretched, it would have given a better idea of the width and shaping through that area that doesn’t translate with her arms close to her body. The ribbing bands with tubular bind-offs are a thing of beauty, too. And of course, photos can never capture the awesome smell of the wool... JF: If only! This has been great – thanks so much for taking some time to share more about your process with our readers, Julie! JH: My pleasure, Jared. Happy fall knitting to everyone!