I discovered this extremely talented designer through many websites linked to design rather than craft and have found that crochet and knitting hold their own in such august places. The skills involved, particularly with the more architectural quality of crochet, means that it can rise up from the prosaic and become a real artform.
Sandra Backlund has gained her design chops in establishments like Louis Vuitton and has been acknowleged by the international design community. Not bad for someone who first enrolled in a textile class when she was bored at university.
Hidden away in her studio in Stockholm, she works long and meticulously on her designs. Not for her the throw-away fashion we're so used to. As she says, "It depends how you see luxury. For me luxury is if something is made especially for you and it is made by someone, not just a machine that does it for anyone. And good quality fabrics and of course nowadays you want it to be friendly to the environment. It’s not about a logo or what it costs. But about how it is made, that it is unique, special. I see fashion as an art form. I could have chosen any direction for myself, design, photography, but for me fashion is a way to combine art and crafts and techniques. And fashion is such a big thing, everyone is involved with it one way or another. It’s pretty unavoidable which makes it very interesting to me."
She works up to 20 hours a day and the work is still unavailable which really raises its worth and quality. I'm very glad to see that she gets her mother to help out. Collaboration in the family is something to treasure.
Her design processes are fascinating and certainly ring some bells for me (in a modest way!).
"Mostly the possibility to improvise. I build the fabric and the garment while working on it, I can change my mind all the time. And of course knitwear is stretching so you can shape it in a different way than with fabric. It’s a bit like sculpting with clay. The material is alive. I invent the pieces while doing them."
The quotes are from an extensive interview which I would recommend anyone interested in this designer, giving real insight into what goes into such amazing pieces.