FLYKNIT COLLECTIVE: FORMFITTING
Last week was the penultimate Flyknit workshop at 1948 London, themed around the Flyknit principle of Formfitting.
At the start of the week, the participants were given a single brief: to customise a basketball or football jersey in keeping with the Formfitting principle and their personal style. In the quest to achieve their shared goal, the group were mentored by a group of London’s key creatives from the fields of sportswear and design.
Innovators and students started the week with a think tank discussion. After an introduction to the Flyknit Innovation, the participants exchanged thoughts and ideas about its benefits, in particular formfitting, and its application to both creative and sporting endeavours. Jarrett Reynolds said ,”Nike’s design philosophy is based on the simple notion that we serve the athlete and we look at the body in motion. I hope the students will look at the human body in a different way after this week. Designing apparel for sports is different than designing for fashion”.
The following day, the group pulled on their jerseys and Fuel Bands and headed out for some first-hand field research. 48 Ballers’ Tremaine Emory and St Leonard’s FC’ Tarik Fontenelle led games of basketball and football respectively, giving the group a chance to consider the limitations of their garments (as well as burning some all-important Fuel points). Back at 1948, Jarrett and menswear designer Astrid Andersen helped the group to sketch out their initial ideas.
The next day was a chance to explore the role of pattern and print in sportswear, with help from Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham of creative consultancy Patternity. After explaining the nature of their work (which ranges from creating window installations at Selfridges to styling for designer David David at Nigerian Fashion Week), Anna and Grace guided the group through a series of challenges and exercises designed to make them approach pattern in new, more imaginative ways. “Pattern can traverse anything and everything”, said Grace. “It doesn’t have to be girly, it doesn’t have to be floral.”
After undertaking a series of interactive warm up exercises, the group were given paints and paper and asked to create instinctive patterns conveying the movement and emotions of yesterday’s Fuel challenge. Later in the day, they headed out into East London to explore pattern in the local area. They used their camera phones to capture patterns in the most unexpected places – from the fur of a Great Dane to the cracked pavement surrounding a drain – and considered ways to incorporate pattern into their designs.
On day four, Cassette Playa designer Carri Munden opened the day’s workshop with a visual presentation of her work, including many of her past collaborations with Nike. Sharing images of her hyper-vivid collections, Carri explained that she’s interested in digital and augmented reality. She encouraged the group to be ‘fearless’ with their designs, and they certainly rose to the challenge. With help from Savile Row tailoring apprentice Trinity Ellis, the group began to cut and craft designs that incorporated everything from leopard-print cut-out detailing to mesh lettering to numbers suspended by Flyknit shoe laces. Student Omari Morgan’s design was inspired by the unique, moulded fit of Flywire panels. He used cords at the side of the garment “…for comfort and a secure fit, and flexible bungee cords to tighten the jersey around the waist and ribs.”
On the fifth and final day of the Formfitting workshop, fashion blogger, journalist and stylist Susie Lau talked about the unique approach of her blog Style Bubble, which covers everything from inspiration and imagery to the culture and history of fashion. After the group had added the final touches to their jersey designs, Susie helped to style them in a way that enhanced not only the Formfitting aspects of the garments, but also the personal style of each participant. “I want you guys to create a vision that speaks of your personality” Susie said. “What can you say about yourself in one picture?”
The short answer proved to be: quite a lot. The class jerseys were photographed uniformly by photographer Jamie Stoker, while each student talked through their design process and how the starting point of the Flyknit benefit of Formfitting led them to their final designs. Pattern cutter and participant Joseph Bond echoed many of the group members when he said that the Formfitting workshop “…has been really inspiring. Jarrett (Reynolds) was saying some really interesting things about the paradox of creating a product that’s essentially trying not to be there. I’m interested in the biography of an object or a garment, and the ways in which that can change, so I’m really glad I came.”