THE FURIOUS HANDMADE FROCKS OF LEUTTON POSTLE TAKE CRAFT TO THE CAT WALK.
Sam Leutton, one-half of the London-based womenswear line Leutton Postle, has a theory that knitters have minds like tangled threads of yarn. “Theya bit scatty,”she says. But Leutton, who runs the label with her former Central Saint Martins classmate Jenny Postle, is disproving her own hypothesis. The duotextured handmade creations, layered with up to 20 different types of yarn, have accrued the type of accolades in two seasons —just two years since graduating —that many designers take years to acquire.
Leutton Postledebut collection for spring/summer 2012, an inspired mix of acid-and sherbet-colored cascades with varying crochet stitches, won the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award, the U.K.version of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The looks particularly came alive in their maxi dresses and tunics. The labeloverall relaxed, feminine silhouettes are steeped in wit and recall the canvases of Sonia Delaunay.
Their upcoming fall/winter 2012 collection features tops and bottoms of abstracted faces anchored by muted, earthy palettes that burst in 3-D textures. Slouchy jumpers and fitted pants in patterns influenced by Nigerian appliques stand boldly next to tinsel jackets and overcoats of bulbous wool clusters, as if ripped from a ’s textile catalog. could say we grossed it up a bit,”Leutton says. donlike to keep it too pretty.”She continues: get inspired by really odd color waves and patterning because we donwant anything to be too predictable or safe.”Leutton and Postle, both 25, met at college as first-year students from the North —Leutton from near Manchester, Postle from the Midlands —and bonded over shared interests such as Eurovision and yarn, an odd combination that marked a distinct aesthetic thatequal parts cheekiness and comfort. You can trace strains of their influences, ranging from the Spice Girls to Yayoi Kusama, seeping into the fabric. lot of the time, people say they can really see us in the collection,”Leutton says. can see our own style coming through.”
Part of their secret formula is sourcing yarns and the weird granny stuff you find in hobby shops up north”Postle says. Keeping production local in the U.K. hangs high on their list of priorities. “We re a very English company: our humor, our way of being, that eccentric sense of style,”she says. Every piece on store racks is thumbed, needled, and darned in their Hackney workshop, with some help from a knitting circle of their peers. Their quirky, sophisticated designs have caught the attention of fashion boutique Browns, which held an exclusive on the current spring/summer collection and will continue to carry it in the fall. What comes after is only an inkling at this point, but the duo already has an inspired plan of attack. Says Postle: going on a canal boat holiday in the Midlands.”