Spotting inspirations in fashion collections can be an exciting exercise, since it allows you to learn more about future trends, but also helps you to (re-)discover a wide range of subjects going from arts to science and technology.
At Todd & Duncan, for example, art is always high on the agenda: the collections by the Loch Leven-based historical Scottish cashmere spinner quite often move from an artist or an art exhibition recently visited by its creative director.
As you may remember, previous yarn collections were inspired by Russian Constructivism, light and neon tubing installations by François Morellet, Iván Navarro and Dan Flavin or by Louise Bourgeois's doodles and scribbles. The artist chosen for the S/S 18 collection is a very intriguing one - Hilma af Klint.
Rediscovered a while back thanks to an exhibition at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and also showcased at the Venice Biennale, Hilma af Klint rejected figurative painting opting for abstract artworks. She was also influenced by contemporary spiritual movements such as spiritualism, theosophy and, later, anthroposophy.
The painter stated that she had no idea what her works were supposed to depict, but her paintings were highly spiritual and attempted to analyse other dimensions of existence. In some of her works she also integrated geometric figures – squares, cubes, circles, triangles and pyramids - and delicate swirls (that from a distance may look like threads, making this inspiration for a yarn company more relevant) in bright eye-catching colours.
Her vibrant shades directly inspired 17 new energetic yarn colours with names such as Bitters, Elixir, Macaw, Thrill, Rocket and Splash. At times her brightest hues were also filtered through balmier shades inspired by summer nights along Scotland's coasts, and through fabric influences such as Kuba textiles from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (their bold geometric shapes and motifs are ideal for knitwear pieces).
There was actually another inspiration behind the collection that came from architecture - photographs by Michael Wolf, of Hong Kong high-rise building exteriors, with their multiple linear patterns and random colour mixes, a reference that can be maybe spotted at its best in the yarns from the Denim line that includes new marls and twists in two counts.
Among the highlightes for the next season there is an ultralight weight 100% cashmere yarn ideal for lighter Spring/Summer garments and for cleaner stitch opportunities for fine gauge knits.
This is not the first time Hilma af Klint inspires the fashion industry since three years ago Acne Studios launched a capsule collection that featured tops with prints of her paintings, but surely this is the first time the artist's work is combined with other textile/architectural references for a yarn collection.