story by Lisa Radano
photos by Charles Beckwith
Amid a scattering of tent shaped totems, some reaching for the ceiling of the Industria loft space, Lindsay Degen’s androgynous boys and girls bounded about in her colorful knitwear and platform Converse high tops, like a merry band of urban jesters. The elfin RISD and Central St. Martins-trained designer was disarmingly enthusiastic about her collection, which has doubled in size and gender since her last outing. Understandable, given the arduous row-by-row nature of her craft, and the arithmetic skill it takes to create the patterns.
“Hand knitting takes a long time, so you have to really commit to each piece.”
Degen showed colorful long-john leggings, biker shorts with mismatched pant lengths, figure hugging maxi and mini skirts, bikinis and 1930’s maillots, a crochet balaclava and knitted baseball caps, a cropped hoodie that barely covered the slight bust line of the model, and several tops with revealing circular cut outs, some trimmed in plastic goggle-eye beads.
“We were going for sexy but not vulgar. More like silly sexy.”
Silly perhaps, but laborious – as everything, including the totems, was hand knit. Even the stap-on platforms she created to embellish many of the Converse high tops, had been touched by her knitting needles, imbuing each piece with a tactile, one of a kind verve, and undeniably optimistic feeling. I asked Ms. Degen if she ever gets tired of hearing the word whimsical. She just laughed.