Sunday, October 16, 2011

Portland Fashion Week 2011: Imperial Yarn

At the beginning of this year I met Anna Cohen, internationally recognized sustainable designer and creative director of Imperial Yarns. She had paired with Imperial Stock Ranch to create her first in-house hand knitwear collection of patterns called The Imperial Yarn Knit Collection.  At the time I met her, she was looking for hand knitwear designers to work as a technical designer/interpreter for her collection of hand knit patterns for Fall 2011.

This was my very first time to work with a fashion designer; and I was very excited about the opportunity. Anna had built and led successful apparel company from 2005 - 2008, making sustainability her priority in her designs. Working with Anna has been a great experience for me. The process of bringing her designs to life was slightly different from what I have done in the past; and it had taught me a lot.  To work on this collection for Anna, among other things, had taught me about sustainability in the US; something I really have not thought about much before. Moreover, Anna's designs are beautiful, fresh with nice silhouettes and she's a pleasure to work with. All the designs in the collection are worked in yarns of Imperial Yarn that are unique, soft and very comfortable to knit with. The yarn is produced by Imperial Stock Ranch, a 140-year-old, family-owned ranch based in Shaniko in central Oregon, that is known for its mindful and sustainable ranching and land-management practices.

I have worked on three designs for the Fall 2011 The Imperial Yarn Knit collection and two designs for the Spring 2012 collection (pictured below). These designs are available in knit-it-yourself kits that are made 100% in the USA including the pattern and Imperial Stock Ranch's wool.

This Imperial Yarn Knit Collection was presented at the Portland Fashion Week 2011 this month. You can see the whole collection on the runway below.

Winter Luxe Cardigan (Fall 2011)

Winter Luxe Cardigan (Fall 2011)
Essential Sweater Dress (Fall 2011)

Simona Circle Bag (Fall 2011)
Tank Top and Bag (Spring 2012)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vogue Knitting Live in LA

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel
Vogue Knitting Live was a three-day event offering classes, lectures, demonstrations, fashion shows and shopping for knitters, crocheters and yarn lovers from all over the country. This event was hosted by Vogue Knitting magazine; and it was done in style and sophistication.

The event took place in Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel,  where all these Ferraris were parked at the front of it. The hotel was in a walking distance to Century City Mall with stores like Channel, Luise Vuitton, Coach, Rolex, housing great restaurants including the most amazing food court I've ever seen! It was very modern and clean, and I could get a very healthy meal choices for lunch or dinner.    

I have seen friends - designers, yarn companies and publishers. It just so happened that I ran into Grace Akhrem, the designer of Peace Street Hat featured with my Ashbury Mitts on the cover of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts. What a coincidence! I have never met her before and we were standing right next to each other both talking to Anne Kuo Lukito. We must have taken a picture together, of course. 

Me with Grace Akhrem at Vogue Knitting Live in LA.

I was very happy to see Faina Goberstein, since I have not seen her since January. We always have fun together. Since I had my mom with me, who does not speak English, we had communicated in Russian and Czech among each other, so my Mom could participate in the conversation without me having to translate all the time. I was amazed that I understood almost everything what Faina was saying!! It's been nearly 20 years I had a conversation in Russian! I guess what you learn as a kid will stay with you for life. :)

Me with Faina Goberstein at Vogue Knitting Live in LA.

I enjoyed an evening with Carl and Eileen Kooper, owners of Bijou Basin Ranch, and of course with one and  only Marly Bird

Of course, Vogue Knitting Live is above all about the knitter and crocheters. I could see knitters and crocheters everywhere I looked. They had taken over the Hyatt hotel lobby enjoying the craft and time spend with friends, ready to learn more, meet their favorite designers and taking break between classes and before walking the market to get great deals on yarn and accessories. I had encountered also one knitter who I just met in front of the hotel who was wearing my Lace Cardigan design from Vogue Knitting, Spring/Summer 2008 issue.

A knitter I met in my Lace Cardigan
from Vogue Knitting (Spring/Summer 2008)