We have weakness for oversized knitwear, especially pieces that are reminiscent of soft bubbly clouds. Edwina Sinclair of Soot. heads into a fresh realm filled with exaggerated shapes, quirky silhouettes and textured pieces in her graduate AW14 collection Pop. Drenched in a palette of pastel tones and textured prints Soot.’s romantic and childlike aesthetic are the perfect fun pieces we need to illuminate those dreary wintry days. We’d like this moment to bid the mundane and boring winter attire goodbye and readily embrace the wonders of Soot.
What drew you to create Soot.?
Soot began quite organically, I didn’t start Soot. with the thought, ‘I am starting my own label.’ I began sketching and designing just before I finished my school senior year and with the assistance of my mum (who was doing costume design at the time) I had the contacts to make some one-off designs. It evolved from there with friends wanting to buy some of the garments and then I was approached by a few stores.
What is the concept behind AW14 collection, ‘Pop’.?
This collection is the one I have spent the most time on ever! There were many factors that influenced the evolution of this collection. The overall theme is very childlike with oversized silhouettes and playful features. I kept consolidating the cohesiveness of the collection by thinking back to my childhood. I really wanted to define my aesthetic and so I focused on traits that were important within my personal style- humour, luxury and texture.
What were the inspiring factors that contributed to your development of Pop.?
Knitting and the fabric creation! I spent 3 months studying in London in 2012 at The London College of Fashion and I saw many amazing knitwear designers. They focused entirely on knit and made amazing pieces that you couldn’t even imagine creating with woven fabric. I felt like I was missing out, so I learned to knit and I wanted to include this element in the POP collection. Whilst in London I visited the Barbican Centre. It is the largest performing arts centre in Europe and one of London’s best examples of Brutalist architecture. I began researching Brutalist architecture, with its angular geometrics, stark form and hard materials. This was a key aspect in my original silhouettes.
How does your process conceptualizing a collection happen?
There are always so many ideas when starting to create a collection. I usually start with sketching or sourcing fabrics as I can sometimes be inspired by the fabric itself. –its colour, texture and feel. The toiling and sampling process is extremely important and can help to evolve the look and cohesiveness of the collection. I also then like to refine or cut some ideas. Sometimes less is more (sometimes it isn’t).
Where do your ideas come to you?
I filter my surroundings so this is hard to pinpoint. Travel and history have been major influencers for most of my collections. If something gets me thinking then I will usually go and do more research because it has definitely triggered a thought and a potential idea.
Does texture and fabric play a huge part and influence to Soot.?
Yes! I did a lot of fabric and texture creation through this Pop collection. Knitting as I mentioned before but I also did a lot of experimentation with fabrics; burning, boiling and manipulating fabric.
Throughout all of Soot. collections do you feel you’ve permanently developed a cohesive style? Or is each collection a new experimentation, experience, and growth for your aesthetic?
Before this collection ‘POP’ I feel I was still in experimental stages of my label, trying new technology like laser cutting and digital printing and maybe not filtering the longevity of the design. I now feel really confident with my aesthetic, it is fun and playful and I hope to make the wearer smile.
Please tell us how you’ve felt its developed and in what direction you’d love to head.
I think Soot. has longevity in it’s designs, being able to be worn for many seasons and not so ‘trendy.’ I hope that the garments will make the wearer feel special as they realize that some of the garments in the ‘Pop’collection began simply as a ball of merino wool.
How long does a collection take to form?
6months- 1 year
If you could envision a type of girl that wears Pop, what type of girl would she be?
She is like this collection; young at heart, playful and a bit cheeky
What future do you desire for Soot.?
To produce fun collections! I want to grow the brand into one that people know and love and want to wear.