The creative lifeblood of any fashion event is, of course, the designers.
April Gourdie graduated with a degree in textile design from AUT. She explores bold colours and patterns through Shima Seiki digital knitting to create the types of knitwear that is simultaneously fresh and nostalgic.
We were lucky enough to meet up and chat with April at ID Fashion Week.
Sans Pareil – What got you interested in design in the first place?
April Gourdie – I always liked art and fabric classes at school and when I found textiles as a degree choice, it was the perfect combination of the two that allowed me to learn new technical skills whilst developing my interests in design and forming a specific aesthetic.
SP – Knitwear is very specific, what made you chose that medium?
A.G – Due to developments in technology, knitwear can be quick to prototype but still allows me to explore textiles from such a technical basis whilst also experimenting with yarn choice and colour. I think I like that it has so many dimensions too it as a medium. It’s such a tactile medium and can be used in such an expressive way but it is so applicable in commercial applications as well.
SP – Who is your work most inspired by?
A. G – I love colour and I am very drawn to little reminders of my childhood. I like to embrace the sense of not growing up. I love artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Atelier Bingo, and designers like Rei Kawakubo and Jeremy Scott who just explore these other worlds. If I get lost for inspiration I document colours and textures in my immediate daily environments. I am also very interested in digitisation in society and human interaction with technology, exploring how people now live in multiple realities and dimensions.
S.P – Tell us about your collection showing at ID
A.G – The collection plays with the concept of escapism, exploring nostalgia and digital immersion. I used a stimulating colour palette and quirky child-like doodles to create ‘another world’ that encourage peoples imaginations to wander. Every piece is knitted using Shima Seiki digital knitting software and machinery. I designed, programmed and knitted the garments myself. I loved having total freedom to create the textiles as it allowed me to play around with pattern placement and colour blocking. I also laser cut the accessories out of clear acrylic.
S.P – You use very bright vibrant colours, almost something completely opposite to a lot of Kiwi style. Where does your love of colour come from?
A.G – I love to surround myself with bright colours and I find it very stimulating figuring out colour palettes and why certain colours work well together. I think I use colour in a nostalgic way because everything seems so colourful when you’re little and it all gets so grey when you grow up.
S.P – What have you been doing since graduating and what’s next?
A.G – I’m currently interning for Allbirds in San Francisco. It’s awesome getting to explore knit in other product applications and being able to further my knowledge around knit in different areas of the industry. I’m planning to stay and work in the USA for the next year, hopefully in the knit industry.
And check out her Instagram to follow her adventures in San Francesco