>> A collection that has been named Granny Takes a Trip is bound to grab my attention. For upcycling knitwear designer Katie Jones, the reference is only in part dedicated to that mystical 1970s London hotspot on Kings Road (aka what I imagine to my psychedelic haven had I been alive back then). Her SS 15 collection is mostly an ode to her own granny, who together with her nan (yes, there’s a difference) taught Jones her knitting and crochet skills. Jones imagines her granny might take a trip to the bright coloured lights of Brighton pier and through the sumptuous pastel hues of the Royal Pavilion and the result is a collection of trippy crochet pieces that solves the problem of doing a knitwear collection for spring summer.
From Jones’ debut collection of customised second hand aran knit jumpers, she carries on her waste not, want not work ethic by taking surplus yarn and unwanted knit factory seconds and repurposing these materials for this SS 15 collection. From her Manchester source of excess yarn, she managed to procure enough rainbow brite shades to go crochet mad on this collection. To obtain the right thickness, she also had a surplus thinner yarn spun into one that was thick enough to get that chunky crochet texture. In a serendipitous stroke of how the upcycling, a very old batch of Sonia Rykiel lurex dresses, which were then reused by sustainable fashion whiz Orsola de Castro’s From Somewhere label, which then ended up in Jones’ collection.
Items of clothing which were originally Italian factory rejects have subsequently gone through two rounds of up cycling. It’s a chain of events that rarely happens in the fashion world but de Castro and Jones are collectively spearheading the upcycling movement with their respective labels. Jones in particular is doing it in a way that doesn’t necessarily ram that up cycling tag down your throat. At the end of the day, your main take away from this SS15 collection will be a) fantastic colourful crochet pieces that you can well imagine being worn anywhere sun-drenched and b) eye catching accessories in the shape of a a carousel horse bag and a 99 ice cream cone rendered in crochet. That’s the track that Jones should carry on in. Behind the scenes, it’s lovely to know someone is ploughing in the effort to use up stacks of yarn and knitwear that would otherwise sit around and rot away but on the surface, Jones’ voice in knitwear is an uplifting one.