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Louise GoldinMark Reay

Louise Goldin, The Innovation Obsessive

The designer brings new meaning to New York power dressing with bulletproof knits

Listening to Louise Goldin talk about her work is like hearing a programmer talk about hacking code they've developed: after hours poured over a screen in the dark, a small wormhole opens up into an otherwise impenetrable domain.

"The main part of my process is creating these fabrics, pushing new ideas for how to knit. Some of my favourite tops in this collection are made with very new, bulletproof tennis cloths in these racket-like programs that I've made," says Goldin of her SS14 collection. "They're very futuristic but amazing pieces to wear, almost like those warrior-esque police protection tops. Looking at sneakers like the Nike Flyknit, and the amazing elements of how they're constructed, I've knitted some really beautiful cotton. It has such high-level quality that knitting it in stitches, like tuck stitches, gives it a bit of sport texture and it's really very strong."

They're very futuristic but amazing pieces to wear, almost like those warrior-esque police protection tops

This is Goldin's persistent route into the world of New York power dressing: developing a luxury knitwear house that utilizes as yet unknown fabric compositions to achieve effortless strength and perennial cool. Her singular vision and reticent behaviour give her the air of a mad genius, but it's the hours and weeks and months spent working on knitting programs in factories that really earns her the stripes.

Such innovative can mean drawing on the most abstract and disparate of references. This season Goldin combines the easygoing Coachella festival with tennis culture. Unexpected, yes, but similarities lie in the human condition. At Coachella, you must surrender yourself to heat, scarcity of water and the occasional dust storm in order to feel free and transcend the constraints of your terrestrial body. Athletes endure pain and find power beyond their known capacities to achieve great feats of human strength. 

effortless strength and perennial cool

It is an athleticism towards design and textile development that keeps Goldin's work so relevant. Pushing style into new territories, her melding of sportswear and technical textiles for the luxury market results in a feel and fit previously unknown to the wearer.

Goldin’s idea of the future is coded within every one of her garments. "I think today everything is about fabrication and an easier silhouette," she says. "I want to make really beautiful fabrics in silhouettes that women want to wear and look very, very strong in and modern and effortless." And with that Goldin is lost again to the demands of textile innovation, like a hacker to their screen.