Memories of the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona from early modernist novel The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and the art of religious portraits by the "Spanish Caravaggio" Francisco de Zurbarán, mix and combine in Laura Theiss' Spring/Summer 2017 collection.
Entitled "The Sun Also Rises", the collection - showcased during London Fashion Week at the On | Off Vinyl Factory - is entirely made with a fine lightweight cotton yarn, and features functional separates such as cropped tops, blouses and skirts, dresses and a selection of versatile accessories.
Theiss crocheted all the pieces, infusing in them the main themes of her collection: one of the trademark element of this new collection is a heart-motif inspired by the elaborately engraved silver ex-votos, tokens of a believer's faith, and by the heart held in the hands of Zurbarán's "Allegory of Charity", employed here as a symbol of a sensual passion and a forbidden love; other designs feature instead blooming clusters of intricate white flowers on a black background, hinting at hope and rebirth, combining mysticism and realism.
The neutral tones of the collection palette, the ethereal powdery and dusty pinks, and the gold intarsia elements, are borrowed from Zurbarán’s portraits of saints and by his dramatic use of chiaroscuro. The deep reds of the densely crocheted long dresses and skirts, evoke instead passion, the blood of bullfights and of the thick wine drank by the main characters in Hemingway novel.
Accessories such as crocheted crowns and veils hint at devout women, widows in mourning, but also empowered women playing a sensual peekaboo game.
"This collection represents my passion for a traditional craft – crocheting – elevated to almost religious devotion," Theiss explains. "Keeping in mind modern and dynamic women, I always come up with sensual silhouettes and shapes, designing innovative patterns created using traditional tools combined with state-of-the art techniques."
Last, but not least, the title of the collection is an optimistic message: just like the sun will rise again even after the darkest night, it will keep on shining on all those designers working with dedication and devotion.