A coincidence born out of either embarrassment or maybe laziness taught Sarah Mazza to knit in high school, and since then, she hasn’t stopped.
The young French-Italian designer, based in the UK, calls herself the “crazy knit lady” and her creations are the result of a process of seeking out new technologies and materials for knitting blended with an interest in culture and anthropology.
After studying Fashion Design Technology and specializing in Surface Textiles (stitching to be exact), she obtained the Knitwear Award from Fashion156 at the Graduate Showcase Week. She finished school less than a year ago and already publications such as Vogue and Not Just a Label, among others, have focused their attention on her.
In her latest collection, she explores the world of tattoos amongst Philippine women, turning them into the main motif of her perfect, subtle and delicate patterns.
At So Catchy! we admire creative talent when we see it and we were lucky enough to get to know Sarah Mazza a bit better…
SO CATCHY!: You like to define yourself as a “crazy knit lady”, do you do anything beside knitting?
SARAH MAZZA: I am not sure if knitting is classified as a hobby as it is also my job but for a while it’s the only thing I seem to do in my spare time.
SC!: I have read that you studied Textiles in A-Level… How was that?
SM: I took textile In A-level as an accident, I was meant to start Graphics but I was guessing there was a mix up on my application, I didn’t really want to make a fuss about it So I went to see how it was and It turned out to be the best thing that could ever happen to me.
I learned to knit from my textile tutor during lunch time period and I absolutely loved it!
SC!: When did you realize you wanted to study fashion? Then?
SM: I am not to sure it all seemed to just happen with out giving much thoughts.
I like the way in which textile can be placed on the body to create different texture and silhouette.
SC!: Why did you choose “knit” within fashion?
SM: I was always a lot more exited about knitting than any other textile practices. With knit you can create something unique from just a pieces of yarn. The limitation of knitwear is endless
SC!: Could you please explain us the concept of your collection (the one we can see on … Why are you fascinated by tattoos?
SM: As a way of inspiring this collection, various tattoo design ideas have been explored while looking at the different cultures. Philippine Island tattoos seem to be part of the biggest focuses relating to knit design itself. Some of the trading products originated from this country were fine fabrics made by women with a variety of materials. Interestingly the same patterns were also found on the Philippine women’s tattooed hands. These tattoos as the fine fabrics details must have been rather delicate and this has been reflected into the collection. The overall idea of this project is to bring to light and to show the tattoo like pattern by transposing the concept into knitted fabric. To create this concept into the shape and silhouette of the garments it is was crucial to keep it fairly simple as the texture will bring most of the slick and elegant look . Tight fitting clothing is to resemble the way the tattoo is being worn on the body (almost like a second skin effect). Looking at some of the Philippine people we can identify a recurring theme of curved lines near the shoulders where it creates a unique effect of clothing seams However taking into account the body tattoo placements there was a lot of playing round with arm holes in the collection garments which relates to tattoo sleeve placements. Among the designs, the knit is see-through to show the skin beneath creating a second skin affect.
I am fascinated about tattoo as it tells a lot about one person and they way of life. This makes everyone unique in there own rights.
SC!: What´s your favourite non-conventional textile/material to work with?
SM: During my first year at university I explored the us of hair as my yarn, I used to go the wig shop and buy as many colour hair as I could find. Since then I haven’t used it but would love to try new technique with it.
SC!: Do you knit all your garments?
SM: Yes I do. I have a little knitting studio in my flat so I am usually in my PJ all daylong knitting.
SC!: How long does it take to knit, dye and sew one of your dresses?
SM: I haven’t timed my self but this can vary with the different garments and knitted technics one could take half a day and others 3 weeks working from early to very late at night. This is not counting the time I have to wait for the yarn/ pieces to dry.
SC!: What are you doing at the moment?
SM: At the moment I am doing some freelancing and doing new product for my collection which includes unique knitted accessorize to be sold and ready for summer time. At the same time I am doing other exiting project but unfortunately you will have wait and see as it’s a surprise!
SC!: Do your sell your pieces? How much is the medium price of one of these pieces?
SM: At the moment I am finalizing my website that will hopefully be Live soon, all the pieces will be sold on there. The medium price would be roughly around £150.
SC!: Your favourite fashion designer..
SM: It is sad to say but I don’t have one. I am very open when it come to other designer’s work but if I would have to choose it would most probably be an up and coming designer. It’s always a lot more unique.
SC!: Your favourite fashion blog or magazine…
SM: I recently did a Photoshop for Fault Magazine and since then you can often find me browsing there website.
SC!: Where do you buy your clothes? Online or do you make them?
SM: I am not much of a shopper, I never bought a pieces of clothing online in my life. I am the sort of person that would look what there is online and I would go and try them at the shop.
Since I have graduated I had a lot more time on my hands so I have been knitting my self some cloths from my collection, Iv also made most of my summer cloths.
SC!: Do you predict a change in the way fashion is produced in the near future? (eco-friendly clothes, slow fashion, etc.) ?
SM: I recently watch a conversation about flexible solar cells that could be woven into clothing. I think this could be developed into something you wouldn’t even notice is stitched in your garments. On The plus side if my phone ever runs out of battery I know where I can charge it.
SC!: What would you like to do next?
SM: I would love to get a sponsor so that my brand could grow
SC!: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
SM: 10 years a long time away but I would hope to have my brand involved in something fabulous!
SC!: Your impossible dream…
SM: I would LOVE to FLY
Photos courtesy of: James Rees
Creative Direction, Rob Phillips
Beauty, Pace Chen, Melissa Wong
Nail Art, Lauren Michelle Pires
Model, Sarah Dick at Models 1
Catwalk images were taken from VOGUE UK
Translated by Michael Padilla