A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Craig Lawrence is a London-based designer who honed his skills as a knitwear designer with Gareth Pugh. Lawrence has been the recipient of Topshop/British Fashion Council NEWGEN Award four season running.
How would you describe the Craig Lawrence collection?
Sophisticated, craftsmanship-focused, playful, experimental. The Fall 2012 collection was inspired by the contrast between the heyday of luxury air travel and grimy modern day British coach travel. There were 60’s silhouettes in the pencil skirts and cardigans, and coach seat patterns in the knits. The colors reference UK coach seats.
When did you officially launch your collection?
My first collection launched with my graduate collection for Central St Martin’s in February 2009.
What gave you the confidence to go out on your own?
I think it was because I wanted to make pieces that no one would employ me to make, the Christmas Ornament inspired collection for example. I felt like I needed to show my own opinion of knitwear.
What design technique did you take with you from Gareth Pugh?
I think the biggest lesson was to not be afraid of being experimental.
How does the Fall 2012 collection relate to past seasons?
The collection is a growth from past seasons towards a more wearable collection. It’s something I’ve been moving towards, but this season I really wanted to see if I could do a wearable silhouette and still keep my design aesthetic intact. As always, I still focused first and foremost on the knit techniques themselves, using them to define the final shapes of the garments.
Can you tell us about Kyototex yarns used throughout your collection?
They’ve been a massive support, and a brand that I work with every season. Anytime you see metallics in my collection, it’s probably Kyototex. Their yarns let me get that amazing luxurious lustre. I discovered them at Pitti Filati, a yarn tradeshow in Florence, Italy.
What is the first accessory you would like to add to your collection?
I think it would be really fun to do shoes. I’m looking into collaborations now for SS13.
Where are you stocked in the US?
Henry Beguelin, who have six retail stores in LA, NY, Malibu, Chicago, Aspen and San Francisco.
Would you ever want to show in Paris or New York?
Definitely! We’re talking with our stockist RA in Paris about doing a presentation next season in their gallery/retail space. And I love New York, it would be amazing to do something here as well in the future.
In what way have you benefited most from London’s strong support of emerging designers?
The British Fashion Council and the Centre for Fashion Enterprise have both helped me immensely, with funding to show in London and to come abroad for press and sales events like the London Showrooms. I’m not sure how it works in other cities, but I feel we have such a great network of support.