By Roshannah Bagley
LONDON, United Kingdom:: Visionary artist Danny Sangra can now add a further role – knitwear designer – to his lengthy resume after previous work as a graphic designer, illustrator, print designer, and video director. Last month’s London Fashion Week marked the international debut of AMS – A Minutes Silence – a unisex knitwear label formed by the Leeds born Sangra and close friend and avid knitter Lynn Cockburn (also known as Lynnda Needles). The striking fusion of Sangra’s bold designs and Cockburn’s craft culminates in a range of quirky yet luxurious blankets, cardigans, jumpers and socks. With Corgi Hosiery Ltd, the British heritage brand (and knitters to the Queen) guaranteeing the highest quality, the hand-finished gems are sure to be a favourite amongst fashionistas and their like. Cockburn has produced knitwear for Carolyn Massey and Von Sono, whilst Sangra has collaborated with footwear brand Double Identity, Louis Vuitton, Levis, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Uniqlo. With such a vast array of clients, and a mutual love for well made clothing, it seemed it was only a matter of time before the two came together to form a line of their own. FAULT listens tentatively as one half of AMS – Mr. Danny Sangra talks photography, working with musician Soko and of his love for Anna Karina.
FAULT:: You are already recognized as a graphic designer, illustrator, print designer and video director. What sparked this new foray into knitwear?
Danny:: Lynnda and I had been talking about doing a label since we left college. We just didn’t want to come out of college and start a t-shirt label, which seemed like what everyone was doing. So we waited. We used A Minute Silence (AMS) as an umbrella name for different projects including film and group exhibitions. However we got older and better at what we do and felt we should both do what we do best at put it together for AMS. Lynnda is an amazing knitwear designer and one of the few people I completely trust.
FAULT:: How influential has your past design experience been in shaping AMS?
Danny:: Very. That’s why we waited so long to start something of our own. I had to develop before I brought something out I was completely proud of. Learning what works and what doesn’t is something that comes with time experimenting and experience.
FAULT:: What was the inspiration behind the current collection “The Gun and the Girl”?
Danny:: It started with my love for Anna Karina. Then I gave Lynnda Bande A Parte to watch and she fell in love with it too. All the collection is based on the characters from Bande A Parte. Only we added our patterns and colours into the mix. But the ‘Odile’ jumper and the ‘Arthur’ Cardigan was based on the same shape garments in the film.
FAULT:: How has the response been since your debut at London Fashion Week?
Danny:: It’s been amazing. Most of our debut collection will be stocked in Dover St Market for AW10.
FAULT:: Are there any knitwear designers or labels that have inspired AMS?
Danny:: You would have to ask Lynnda about that but I find we have been more inspired by films and photography that we then infuse with our own ideas. However for me most of the design has come from the late sixties. Apart from Goddard I remember a photograph for Vogue by Peter Beard of an Emilio Pucci Ski jacket (in 1964). That was always in my head when working on AMS.
FAULT:: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Danny:: It depends on my mood. Everyone has the ‘all black day’ or ‘long johns round the house’. The days I feel broke I like to dress super smart. Shirt tie, good shoes. A Mod mentality. I generally always have good shoes and a good coat. The rest falls into place.
FAULT:: At the moment the AMS brand is limited to blankets, cardigans, jumpers and socks. Are there any plans to extend the label into a full collection?
Danny:: Yes. AMS was always supposed to be something that Lynnda and I could use to do whatever we want. We will always have the knitwear but they will be alongside other ‘items’ I can’t tell you what we have planned next though……….
FAULT:: If you had to choose one item from this season’s AMS collection, which would it be and why?
Danny:: Well apart from the blanket, the ‘Franz’ cardigan – the big blue one. Lynnda designed it for me, so that will be in my wardrobe soon enough.
FAULT:: What are you up to at the moment?
Danny:: At the moment I have just finished a short documentry I began filming last year. I went to the south of France with the singer/actress Soko and filmed her make her new album. It was amazing. But it took me six months to finally get round to editing it. Also I’m working with Partizan Director and close friend Ollie Evans on an online music show called The Knocking Shop (theknockingshop.tv) it’s difficult to even describe that project. Oh and I’m about to shoot another fashion film for Glass magazine with the AW10 Miu Miu collection AND I’m doing prints for a certain French Fashion house that I can’t tell you the name of…..
FAULT:: What do you do in your spare time?
Danny:: There’s no spare time, there’s only time.