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Ilga's Knitting World

Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspiration vs. Stealing

When is taking inspiration from the world around us equivalent to stealing someone else's idea?

This is confession time for me. Although I often take inspiration from the natural world or from man-made structures, there are also times when I get design ideas from fashion and clothing. Other times, I don't even know where I get my ideas.
In the case of Juliette, I have to confess that, fascinated by the design work of Kate Towers and almost without realizing it, I played with her idea of a multi-layered neck wrap.
Kate's design work is fantastic. Who wouldn't be enamoured of her unique way with fabric? Folding it, ruffling it, crushing it, pleating it, layering it, twisting it, and making it into something alive.
I first saw her work in last summer's issue (July/August 2010) of Belle Armoire where she was featured on the cover in that same brilliant red, multi-layered neck wrap.

Based in Portland, Oregon. she sells her unique work in local boutiques and on etsy.com. Her aesthetic is all about the fabric, about how it can be made to create unusal shapes and textures. There is something so sculptural about her pieces, each one a celebration of the fabric. It is no surprise that she is affecting the fashion scene in Portland in a serious way.
We knitters know all about the flexibility and versatility of the knitted fabric, too. How it can be made into unusual shapes and structures. How it can adorn the body and instill the spirit. So it should be no surprise that a knitter looks at Kate's work and thinks, "I can do something like that, too."

Really, just look at this beauty and tell me you wouldn't want to knit it.
I rest my case.

Photo credits: All images (except Juliette) copyright Kate Towers

Posted by Ilga Leja on 09/26 at 12:38 PM
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