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Craig Lawrence Womenwear S/S12

Showing sandy and nude colours, the designer was inspired by his childhood holiday location, Felixstowe, and the British seaside

Inspired by the town of Felixstowe, a place Craig used to holiday as a child, and the British seaside photographs of Martin Parr, this collection was a reworking of the knitwear designers classic ideas but with an added sexiness and crystal shine. Using a strict palette of sandy colours, highlights shone through in Swarovski crystal yarns that gave the occasional glimmer of the sea or of a shell found on a beach. Loose weaves and lace-hole techniques complemented the occasional pleating element or looser draped necklines.

These were contrasted against with form fitting silhouettes and almost sporty twisted-wrap sweetie tops. Cocktail dresses were dropped throughout the collection, some with box pleats, some with added Swarovski panels, alongside beautiful fish tail features. Highlights included the box cape, with rough edges giving it a luxe grunge feel, and a winning collaboration with leg-wear and tights design experts, Patternity.

Dazed Digital: What was your starting point this season?
Craig Lawrence: I started with the idea of Felixstowe and the seaside, going from more casual wear and turning that into something that was more about evening wear. Then I was just picking up on the different textures, the sandiness, driftwood, and then mixed in with a bit of Swarovski crystal!

DD: Where did the strict colours come from?
Craig Lawrence: It was a muted sandy pastel colours, in a way like the colours of a painted beach hut, but then I also wanted to add in something a bit sparkly to give it an added layer, almost in some way bit 'wet-look'.

DD: Did you work on any new fabric or yarn developments?
Craig Lawrence: This season it was basically a lot more about experimentation with stitch, mainly loose stitch, rather than yarns or fabrics.

DD: There was a touch of rose gold that appeared in the palette. Where did that come from?
Craig Lawrence: That was actually from the Martin Parr photographs, and the seaside images that he had taken through the windows of cake shops. That was the colour that seemed to sum up that image in my head. A sort of wet sponge pink. Those cake images were also the where the kind of doily lace feel came from.

DD: Can you tell me about the Swarovski yarn?
Craig Lawrence: That is a really nice element in the collection, which adds in a sort of wet look or shimmer. I wanted it to be like the mother of pearl you find inside shells. It's just adds a pure luxury to the pieces.