23rd November 2017

Archives’ collection inspires fashion chain’s Fair Isle knitwear

A national fashion chain has launched a new winter range – inspired by the isles’ knitting heritage.

One of the jumpers inspired by Shetland Museum and Archive’s collection. Photo courtesy of Oasis

The Fair Isle knitwear in Oasis’s winter collection draws on garments included in Shetland Museum and Archive’s textile collections. However, they knitwear might not appeal to traditionalists.

Design director Clive Reeve contacted curator Carol Christiansen in February to find out more about the designs in the “Recognised Nationally Significant Collection”. Dr Christiansen sent images south along with what constitutes Fair Isle patterns and how they differ to some more common Norwegian ones.

The clothing is now on sale and “while they don’t follow the traditional colour schemes, they are beautifully vibrant, eye-catching and attractive”, according to a Shetland Amenity Trust press release.

Marketing officer Emma Miller said: “It’s a contemporary spin on traditional design and looks great.”

The partnership continues Shetland’s recent links with high fashion, although not all designers have enjoyed such good relationships.

Luxury French label Chanel was forced to apologise to Fair Isle-based designer Mati Ventrillon after it admitted passing off her designs as their own two years ago.

And earlier this year Quarff-based Greencroft complained about international fashion house Alexander McQueen after a photo of one of its croft house planters was used as a backdrop to McQueen’s spring fashion show.

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