Text: Viktorija Martinenaite
Meet Laura Theis, a Lithuanian-born designer who made knitwear fashionable again. Laura graduated from London Central Saint Martins and soon after, in 2012, launched her own brand Laura Theiss. Her newest Autumn/Winter 16 knitwear collection was inspired by the film Ex Machina, where the main character, a woman-robot, despite the special effects and computer programs, was very feminine.
„A romantic and feminine side of the human and android body is explored via floral crocheted elements reworked with high-tech processes such as bonding. Designs combining different stitches and embroidered elements and techniques such as bonding, thermowelding, taping and embossing or integrating knitted cashmere bonded with other materials, could be considered as representations of a body that can radically change via prosthetic parts. Laura Theiss’s A/W 2016-17 collection is a journey through medical sciences, internal biological structures and functions, anatomy collections and future technologies, through her designs Theiss reminds us that, just like in science, there is no boundary in traditional arts like crocheting and knitting, and no limits to where fashion can take you”, reviews Anna Battista
Fashion Bloc: Tell us more about your Autumn/Winter 16 knitwear collection. How the designs were created?
Laura Theis: I looked at the anatomy in general to create crocheted elements imitating the abstract shapes of human cells, and crocheted fractals directly inspired by the fractal properties of internal human organs, while also transforming the structure of the DNA double helix into knitted cables. The romantic and feminine side of the human and android body is explored via cascades of floral crocheted elements at times reworked with cutting-edge processes devised with an Italian high-tech company Bond Factory. I transformed a DNA helix into a digital template and then thermowelded it with aluminum and holographic foil or light reflective materials on organza and wool; laser cut designs featuring techniques like thermodweling, taping and embossing or integrating knitted cashmere bonded with tulle could be considered as representations of a body that can radically mutate via prosthetic parts.
F.B: What kind of a woman do you have in mind when you create?
L.T: I tailor my designs for the woman who does not exist in reality. It is a vision of a woman-aspiration; this is usually a strong personality, a post-feminist. My clients are not only bankers, lawyers or society girls – they are also the ones who are taking care of their families.
F.B: What is fashion for you?
L.T: Fashion is not only about the clothes, it is also the way to express yourself. Today eveyone keeps saying how important it is to find your own style, but I think it is more important to choose the outfits based on your mood that day, as it gives you more confidence.
F.B: What inspires you the most?
L.T: I am inspired by the traditional needlework and fantasy films. I love to recreate old patterns and make their collages; it provides futuristic sense. I never pass by the flea markets to buy old crocheted napkins, fashion magazines or antique brooches. Walks in the flea markets inspires me to create something new. When I am travelling, I don’t go to museums; I am much more interested in the city life. I enjoy walking around, investigating local fairs, talking to people, taking photographs and, of course, visiting local yarn stores.
Photographer: Rama Lee
Styling and Creative Direction: My Name is Kabir @ www.mynameiskabir.com
Model: Vick @Profile
Make-Up: Michelle Webb
Hair: Kiyoko Odo
Assistants: Gabriella Natoli, Siyu Fan, Alexia Planas