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Time to Think about a Sweater

For her very personal project 'Time to Think about a Sweater' fashion designer Iñiy Sanchez designed 11 unique sweaters for 11 individuals who influenced her development as a designer.

By Editor / 19-11-2009

Fashion designer Iñiy Sanchez recently launched her autonomous project “Time to think about a sweater”, in Amsterdam. 

For this project Sanchez designed 11 unique sweaters for 11 individuals who influenced her development as a designer, both directly or indirectly. Sanchez choose the sweater for both its symbolism (a garment to live in) and its gesture (the knitting of a sweater for somebody). For each person, she designed a sweater in which an enriching aspect of the relationship is translated into construction, decoration, material and colour.

The hand-knitted sweaters are mostly constructed from the yarns of existing sweaters that Iñiy has collected and worn throughout the years. After  extensive research, different techniques are incorporated in the production of the sweaters – weaving, knitting, embroidery. Also, the contact between Sanchez and the wearer of the garment was of great importance. “The design of the sweater is a process that is heavily influenced by my relationship with the wearer – the garment can change while my relationship with the person gets stronger. That’s the beauty of a sweater – it has the potential to be deconstructed, re-designed and rebuilt again and again,” Sanchez explains.
Three examples of the sweaters include: (in the designer's words)

"A person with a specific way of looking. As a photographer, he can capture the beauty of the everyday and of humanity in an image. I’m inspired by his way of looking at light and all the different subtleties I see in his work. It is light – the way it can be seen in film and photography – that I took as a starting point for his sweater. I used a cotton yarn with a coating that has a subtle colorful shine, like a soap bubble, the moment sunlight touches its surface. I translated the experience of making contrast and depth by using light and shadow, into a woven pattern. The time consuming technique of weaving is a subtle addition for the eye, but it’s small imperfections and the combination of woven and knitted parts strengthen the character of the sweater in a tactile way. 

A sweater can develop, the way a social contact develops when you get to know a person better. There is the transparent sweater that is 'coloured' with yarns of different old sweaters by using embroidery. The person for whom I made this sweater has a great sense of humour that he uses both in his private life and his professional life as a designer, musician and writer. By using nylon yarns for the sweater's base, a monumental shape is created – which suits the posture of the wearer. By adding wool yarns, the material is transformed into a warm, supple and rich material. 

For another person's sweater, I emphasize the way a sweater is constructed: from one thread, loops are hooked together and connected into a warm embrace in the shape of a sweater. A sweater with a golden base in silk yarn. After a couple of centimetres, the gold is covered by a secondary knitted layer (jaquard) made out of a mixed thread from two sweaters I wore during moments with the person the sweater is made for. The construction is based on conversations I had with this person – they started a useful development within me. The frontal confrontation the person gave me, like a mirror that is put in front of you, changed into a movement around a person."

Iñiy Sanchez (1983) graduated from the Fashion Institute Arnhem, where she received her masters degree in fashion. Prior to that, she graduated cum laude from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Sanchez gained experience at Alexander van Slobbe and at G-Star. Currently she works and lives in Rotterdam.


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