Cooperative Designs S/S 09

The knitwear that Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hagemann stick to their signature style whilst referencing Rodchenko.

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“It started through looking at photo montages by the Russian constructivist Alexander Rodchenko. Then we started looking at Memphis furniture designers who do crazy things with textures, patterns and different surface plains,” explains Annalisa Dunn about their S/S09 collection, who together with fellow CSM MA grad Dorothee Hagemann form knitwear label Cooperative Designs. Like other knitwear luminaries, they have not let the fact that it is a spring summer 2009 collection stop them from their beloved niche, as the knits in their collection are made from extremely light and expensive cottons and they are formed into slinky dresses with draping arm holes that allow movement.

The Cooperative Design trademarks have already been built up in just two seasons and they seem to have come about trough continuity from their time at Central St Martins and natural growth. Dunn’s MA collection featured stripes that have carried through to their S/S 09 collection and both Dunn and Hagemann liked to have a sense of humour infiltrating their clothes, which can also be seen in the suspender shaped leggings, rope jewellery, beach ball bags and hidden mask patterns. Since their monochromatic MA collections however, colour has most notably been a feature of Cooperative Designs and this season is no different with any colour being fair game and a palette so fluid, that perhaps the better question to ask is "What colour ISN’T there?" Ultimately, it is the pieces that look like “your grandmother made them for you” that makes Cooperative Designs so very covetable with stockists like Browns coming onboard.  “Those are the pieces that people are most interested in,” notes Dunn.

The knitwear future may also be stripy and colourful for men as Annalisa and Dorothee would also love to branch out into menswear, having collaborated with Tim Soar on apiece for his S/S 09 collection, which took one week to complete. The sort of fruits of a labour of love that Cooperative Designs will surely carry on in the future.

A video starter to the S/S 09 show to remind people of the name Cooperative Designs which publications have gotten wrong in the past.

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