I'm paying the price for seemingly hiding under a rock and not having my eye on the blogging ball. This week, I've now had to post about not one but two sitters – as in easy, no-brainer blog post subjects that have been blogged to death elsewhere and I've just let it slip by me.
Strathcona Stockings was the first. Their Melbourne stockist Dagmar Rousset then led me to ALL Knitwear. Link to the link to link – a tried and tested method of getting leads for the blog. Clearly I missed one an all-important link some time back in 2010-11 as Annie Larson's knitwear is for me a recent discovery despite a mound pile of press, a good list of stockists including the Madewell store in New York and a ton of bloglovin' from the community what with Larson's own prolifically updated blog. Double doh indeed!
ALL Knitwear is basically all about fun and joy compressed into a cardigan, a jumper a pair of knitted shorts or a bobble hat. Larson was born in Seoul and then raised in Wisconsin. After designing for Target, she started ALL Knitwear label and that's when she began knitting up a storm with her Brother KH-965l machine and conjuring up the most delicious of patterns and designs. I Larson's Americana-rooted references like griddle squares, cheeto patterns, New Mexican cactus, jack-o-lantern drawings and Coney Island-derived candy stripes are made all the more charming with her colour combos. Larson has a clever control over her colour and pattern combinations so that her exuberance is still somewhat contained. There's something nostalgic about looking at her look book images. I can't pin point a decade and thankfully the sweaters manage to avoid predictable levels of kitsch and retro. It is infectious though, scrolling through her work. Who doesn't want to be bounding about with pals in matching Converse trainers, Happy Socks and matching knitted ensembles that aren't entirely uniform? There's a potential imaginary girl band image floating around in these pics and I expect it to pop up in a surreal scene in a Wes Anderson film sometime soon.
I also ploughed through ALL Knitwear's blog, which indicates that a new collection is on its way although it doesn't seem ALL really needs to operate in seasons when designs from two years ago are still just as alluring. In fact, much of her back catalogue is available through her online store, knitted up to order in a day or so for a price that isn't astronomical considering it's all made-to-order. Her blog is a pretty ace template for a designer's blog – documentation of studio moves, news of new product/collaborations, inspiration imagery and random bits and bobs that endar you to Larson as a person. Is it weird to like an item more just by getting to know the person a little better? It's not a template that every designer should adopt but it swings in Larson's favour and now I'll be hawk-eyeing ALL for upcoming collections.