by Paolo Ferrarini of Future Concept Lab
Founded a half-century ago, the international knitwear label Stefanel feted the accomplishment with a new collaborative collection.
â€œWe are a family—declares the CEO Giuseppe Stefanel—and we like nothing better than a family celebration.â€ The company presented the capsule line, designed by the London based duo Cooperative Designs, during the latest Milan Fashion Week at Cardi Black Box, the most hyped gallery in town.
Cooperative Designs consists of Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hageman, who met at Central Saint Martins in 2007 while both specializing in knitwear. Upon graduation, they joined forces to create their brand, spawning a total of five lauded collections to date.
The simple brief Stefanel proposed for the project tasked the designers with creating the most creative collection using the companyâ€™s archives. â€œWe loved the patterns, the colors, the texture and fabrics. First we figured out what we felt were the most exciting an iconic graphic patterns and silhouettes. We wanted to move thing on but we also wanted to stay close to the Stefanel signature," the duo said.
The upshot, a fusion of artistry and craft, looks incredibly fresh but well-grounded, referencing Mondrian and Keith Haring, along with ethnic or DIY techniques. Some shapes in particular, either very tight or very wide, clearly draw on the '80s for inspiration.
The collection will be available exclusively in selected shops starting January 2010.