The functionality and inherent craft of 18th century fisherman's ganseys and the elegance of the pre-raphaelite women painted by J.W.Waterhouse inspired Hannah Stote’s romantic and whimsical first collection. Using 100% wool - with 75% of that wool coming from British sheep and spun in the UK - the collection was developed with a focus on reviving craft within fashion, with research featuring traditional gansey knitting patterns and experimenting with scale and texture to reinvent traditional knit stitches, such as cables, plaits and lace knitting.
The aim of the collection was to create thoughtful, timeless knitwear that embodies the values of slow fashion. All of her garments are designed to be zero waste in production and able to be easily recycled – each garment is fully fashioned on the machine, meaning the yarn is not broken (as it is when the cut and sew method is used) and can be unravelled and reclaimed, ready to be knitted into a new garment once my garment is no longer desired.
The use of a historical garment that is both beautiful and practical as inspiration also prompts a discussion into the value we place upon clothes and how that’s become distorted with the rise of fast fashion. The idea of keeping clothes for years, repairing them when needed then reusing them once no longer wanted needn’t be the antithesis to modern fashion.
Despite only learning how to machine knit nine months before she graduated, Hannah had the opportunity to show her final year collection in her university show at Graduate Fashion Week 2019 and was selected to be showcased in the Best of GFW Gala Show, where she was awarded the Catwalk Knitwear Award for her innovative and romantic collection.