A few weeks ago I attended a show at the V and A without having done my homework. I had heard the name like you might have heard about an outlandish story on The Daily Mail side bar. As the lights of the Fresco-clad hall lowered, the darkness swelled with a swarm of SLR shutters and the almost audible pouts of observers. It dawned on me I was about to witness something special. Having created knitwear for Gareth Pugh for 6 years, The British Fashion council scouted Lawrence as a candidate for their NEWGEN programme, providing the resources and funding for his own outstanding line. Amidst what seems like endless pessimism in the press towards anyone aspiring to work in creative industries, the success of Lawrence’s venture stands as a reminder of what determination and sheer talent can achieve.
Famed for his use of alternative textiles, the first pieces showcased demonstrated a playful aesthetic creating bold silhouettes in brash shades. Ribbons, yarns and tapes were looped and woven into high impact pieces that seemed to reconstruct the human form beneath them. Some of the pieces toyed with the convention knitting techniques of knotting and crocheting, blown up to over sized proportions.
For me, the stand out creations from the collection were those that used finely woven metallic threads, woven into spider-webesque dresses and jumpsuits. The intricate laddering of the pieces looked almost liquid, like a body dipped in gold paint, completely challenging any of my assumptions of what a ‘knitwear’ show would contain. fluid and ethereal, the movement created by the fringing detail of pieces reminded me of 20’s flappers. The model’s were styled with intricately up-do’s intertwining fishtail braids,leaving static and fly-aways floating whimsically down the catwalk. Naked faces were brashly painted with a thick matt red cat-eye shadow matching the soles of the Louboutin shoes they walked in. Trippy beats by Hanna Hanra blared as models stalked colt-like and unphased by the army of outstretched iphones. As the bass faded, I sat back in my seat, drunk with the universal awe of the audience.