By Roshannah Bagley
LONDON, United Kingdom:: Tim Ryan has well and truly tapped into his innovative inner granny. The Irish born, London based designer is continually pushing modern perceptions of knitwear with his striking creations. Such pieces are lovingly produced by hand and are the result of 12 years self-taught experience. Never one to shy away, always keen to dazzle, Ryan’s talent has now been discovered by Browns – London’s most respected fashion boutique and ardent supporter of new talent. It seems this is the start of something wonderful. FAULT quizzes Ryan on his inspiration, yarns and his fascination with everything “sparkly” and “fringey”.
FAULT:: What is it that you find so fascinating about knitwear?
Tim:: Knitwear is so much more intimate and personal than tailored clothing, to wear and to produce.
I personally love making things from nothing but a single piece of yarn shaping and embellishing the garment as you go, I never work with flat patterns so often the little unexpected things that happen as you knit are the most exciting, the integral shaping has endless possibilities and the end fabric is always more unique in character than a woven fabric.
FAULT:: What or who do you find inspiring?
Tim:: Currently; travellers, discos, Alla Pugacheva, Buffy Sainte-Marie and everything sparkly, fluffy and fringey.
FAULT:: Are there any particular designers who have had a significant influence on your craft?
Tim:: I wouldn’t say there is a specific or particular influence on what I do, I taught myself most of the techniques I use and I suppose how I shape and construct things is more inspired by that learning process than anything else, the main inspirations come from inside the making of the pieces and the chosen yarns rather than from the surface of other things I’ve seen.
FAULT:: Over the last few years, knitwear has experienced a strong resurgence in the fashion industry – particularly in London. Why do you think this is?
Tim:: Well a black jacket is a black jacket and maybe people are a bit bored. I think each of the prominent knitters working now has a very different point of view and this is very exciting, I think it shows a personality which is unique to knit…but knit is expensive to produce by virtue of its specialness so let’s hope it can be sustained and customers continue to appreciate this uniqueness. The new minimalism everyone is talking about is the same as the old minimalism people spoke about before and I don’t think we really need to see that all over again.
FAULT:: How do you construct your garments?
Tim:: All garment pieces are fully fashioned, and garments are constructed as we knit often building piece upon piece. On the other hand some pieces are made very simply from as few components as possible, we drape a lot and work from there but never cut and sew.
Some of the crochet pieces this season are made from the top down shaping as we go from a single piece of yarn to make seamless pieces.
FAULT:: Your pieces often feature metallic yarns and fringe detailing, would you say this is somewhat of a Tim Ryan signature?
Tim:: Yes it probably is at this stage… I’m definitely more attracted to sparkly and textured yarns and things that have a strong surface appeal, they always seems to sneak in somewhere. For Spring there were lots of little sequins on silk yarns and lots of fringing again and for Winter 10 we’re using a new holographic lurex developed for us in the UK which is really exciting so the sparkle will continue for a while yet.
FAULT:: What are you up to at the moment?
Tim:: Developing new yarns for Winter and next Summer, it’s the really exciting part for me, as the garments always come from the yarns and it’s amazing to be working with certain spinners to produce our own exclusive yarns.
FAULT:: What is your FAULT?
Tim:: My personal faults are far too numerous to mention..