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Sandra Backlund is Back

Knitwear specialist Sandra Backlund introduces Dazed Digital to her Autumn/Winter 2010 collection, which, for the first time, includes fabric-based designs

In the last few years Swedish Sandra Backlund established herself in the fashion scene as a knitwear designer. Yet her Autumn/Winter 2010 collection features a few surprises: still employing her iconic knitting techniques, Backlund integrated for the first time in her designs different fabrics, creating sculptural geometric patterns and continuous variation through ribbed motifs, angles, folds, rigid wings and exuberant pleated circles. The result of this fusion of esprit de géométrie and esprit de finesse is a collection characterised by a strong three dimensionality that enhances the natural shapes of the body with voluminous yet controlled designs that exaggerate and highlight certain parts of the body. Surface experimentation in this collection is also important: embroideries, appliquéd motifs, crystals, fringes and other types of decorations are the most obvious elements employed in fashion to “re-dress” surfaces or to add further movement to a garment, but Backlund preferred to carry out a sort of subtle surface manipulation through stitches that reproduce soft astrakhan fur and ethereal feathers. 

Dazed Digital: What inspired your new collection?
Sandra Backlund: The main thing that inspired me for the new collection is the same as usual, what goes on during my everyday struggles to be a designer and running my own company. I would say that the main inspiration is that constant fight to find a balance between all the natural contradictions in fashion, in a nutshell the beautiful and ugly part of this business.

DD: This collection is not entirely knitted, yet it preserves the trademark designs and elements of your knitted pieces: have you decided to take a rest from knitting and are you focusing on fabrics now?
Sandra Backlund: More than half of the collection is actually still knitted. I just decided to approach the knitwear from a surface point of view this time, using stitches that give the illusion of astrakhan fur and feathers. In a way you can say that I used fabrics to create garments with the typical Sandra Backlund knitted volumes and silhouettes and also applied knitting techniques to cutting and tailoring, keeping in mind my knitwear “sculptures” from previous collections,

DD: What kind of fabrics have you been working with for this collection?
Sandra Backlund: Silk organza and technical nylon. For the knitwear I used a wool/stretch and a viscose yarn.

DD: Do you think you will be experimenting with technologically advanced fabrics in future?
Sandra Backlund: This was the first time I worked with a technical fabric, even though it was not really a “technologically advanced” fabric but it was more like a typical wind stopper textile. It is always interesting to discover and do trials with new materials, but at the moment I’m not purposely looking for technologically advanced fabrics.

DD: Do you feel your fans will be surprised by the fact the new collection doesn’t include knitted pieces and do you think this collection will open up new markets?
Sandra Backlund: As I said, the collection still includes knitwear, but of course there have been a few surprised reactions, mainly positive, though. I think that everyone that knows my work and is interested in fashion and design understands and respects the fact that, as a designer, you sometimes have to challenge yourself and step out of the comfort zone. I will never give up doing my hand-knitted special pieces, but I got to a point where I felt like I had been concentrating too much only on that since it is such a time consuming process. So I made the decision to take a break and instead tried to translate the way I had been working with my hand-knitted pieces into machine knits and fabrics. It was also the only way for me to get the opportunity to try production and offer my collection to buyers. Hand-made production is still too complicated in my opinion and demands a lot of serious investigation if you want to do it right!
DD: Will we be able to buy all the pieces included in this collection?
Sandra Backlund: Yes, everything has been ordered by stores except the headpieces that I purposely made for the photo shoot. Of course the buyers of the different shops will make their own selections, but you’ll be able to find the A/W10 collection at stockists such as Browns Focus, Colette and Luisa Via Roma, among others.

DD: What projects do you have for the immediate future?
Sandra Backlund: The only future project planned at the moment is finishing my Spring/Summer 2011 collection!

Photo: Kristian Bengtsson
Styling: Naomi Itkes
Hair: Ali Pirzadeh
Make Up: Kajsa Svanberg /Mikas
Model: Antonia /Stockholmsgruppen