Earlier today, Mizelissa brought Rowan 48 to my attention. The designs somehow sit strangely, and the styling in places is a bit dubious. But there is some interesting construction going on in there.
The first section, Nomad, concentrate heavily on chunky textured cables. Now, I like to look at a good sculptural knit – I love Vogue/Designer Knitting for this. And it’s the sort of design that Rowan have featured before in their Studio magazines. But, something is a bit flat with the designs here. And I think it’s that they’ve tried to take something quite extreme and make it a bit more mainstream and “wearable”.
Let us look at the Wayfarer wrap.
In a more extreme form it would be quite a statement piece, but as it stands it looks a little bit like she’s wrapped a blanket around her. It’s been toned down too much. But it’s a piece that the stylist clearly loves as it seems to find its way into several shots in the same sections.
And it kind of detracts from the scarves by not allowing them to stand on their own. Which is a shame, because the scarves could work as statement pieces. Clearly, it’s an attention seeking number which doesn’t want any of the other garments to get any attention.
As for the Russian Doll section. Well, that’s a woolly migraine all by itself.
Now, I think the Inga cardigan is an interesting garment. Just two fairly simple colour patterns in it. And it’s an interesting construction. I’d actually like to see how it looks in a simpler colourway as well. But, you cannot really see how the garment looks because of the twee fuckery going on underneath it. Yes, lets add a busy floral dress that makes the edges of the garment disappear a bit into a mess. And lets add a bit more clash with a burnt orange scarf as well. Trinny and Susannah would be proud of the colour barf present in this one picture.
But there is a particular gem in this section. I present the Valentina coat.
Let us look at the seperate elements. We have some gorgeous geometric work for the main body of the coat. We have some lovely roses. It’s an intricately worked piece and obviously the work of a very skilled designer. Each of these design elements on their own is beautiful and would make a fantastic needlepoint pattern. Put them together in a single garment, add in a belt which cuts it in half and makes even a model look lumpy and you’ve got what looks like a dressing gown.
In this issue of Rowan, it’s the simpler pieces in the timeless classics section that I like the best. Now, in contrast to the toning down of exaggerated style in the first section, a couple of the garments in here have very simple shapes that have a small quirk added to them. It’s very plain but with a tiny twist. I like Tara, a plain laceweight mohair jumper with a twist to the hemline, and Rowena, a fairly basic puffy-sleeved jumper which looks to have some interesting folding in the sleeve caps. I think I’d like them both better in charcoaly colours – grey is so underrated. Yes, they’re both in very thin yarns – what else would anyone expect from me.