Text by Susie Bubble
The new generation of knitwear upstarts hasn’t quite spread in New York as it has done this side of the Atlantic, but one designer who has been quietly paving his way through collections that seek to inject the unexpected as well as functionality is Tom Scott. Having studied textiles in Philadelphia, this knitwear designer’s presentations always make for memorable fashion fodder, exemplified by last season, where he recreated his version of ‘home’ (his S/S 10 collection is called ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’) at the Chelsea hotel. Models ‘lounged’ about in different domestic situations, in loose knitwear adorned with reconfigurations of bed ruffles, hair nets, air vents and curtains, that seemingly sets a new standard for home comfort attire. Scott has also just recently opened his first store and studio on Clinton Street in New York and will be launching a separate collection of archived styles in new fabrics next year. We spoke to the American knitwear maverick about where home is for him and how he sees his own style of knit.
Dazed Digital: How do you feel the genre of knitwear has developed in recent seasons (as there have been so many emerging designers specializing in knitwear)?
Tom Scott: I hope to challenge the traditional craft of knitting, with concept, shape, and a sense of humour!
DD: How do you go about developing your ideas each season as you always come up with quite innovative ways of presenting?
Tom Scott: My ideas are a sort of stream of consciousness, one thought sort of melds into another, and are usually a collection of ideas that I’m thinking about at the time.
DD: Your pieces have also been exhibited in an art context? Do you purposely blur the boundaries between fashion and art in your collections?
Tom Scott: My background is in textiles so I have always approached my collections more conceptually, but to me clothing is not art. It’s something practical, not intellectual. We recently opened a small shop and studio on Clinton Street and tried to create a gallery like atmosphere, a simple clean environment in which to work and sell the clothes in.
DD: Do you develop new techniques each season or do you focus more on shape and textures?
Tom Scott: I try every season to push the collection in a direction it hasn’t gone in before. Some seasons are more about shapes, and some more about texture and technique. I drive my knitting factory crazy!
DD: Where is home for you (going from your collection title “Home is Where the Heart Is”) and did in any way inform the way you design?
Tom Scott: I recently moved for the first time in 10 years to a new apartment in the Lower East Side in NYC and was thinking a lot about the idea of home, so decided to base my spring/summer 2010 collection on the home. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was a kid and thought a lot about her house and a lot of the funny things she has in it, so it was a sort of homage to her house in a way. We made pieces inspired by bed ruffles, sheer drapes, printed bed sheets, valance curtains, terry towels, etc.
Tom Scott now open on 55 Clinton Street, New York