- 28 Aug 18
With her wonderfully unique take on traditional styles, designer Pearl Reddington is reinventing knitwear.
CAD graduate Pearl Reddington takes fabrics and techniques most commonly associated with traditional, old-fashioned, even outdated styles, and transforms them into strikingly modern and often conceptual pieces.
For Reddington, there was no one defining moment that cemented her desire to become a designer; the passion was always there.
“Fashion has always been such a big part of my identity,” she reflects. “There was no defining moment or realisation, it’s so integral to who I am. I can’t imagine doing anything else. In college I was very on the fence about whether to study fashion or textiles, so when I discovered knitting it was the perfect balance.”
Specialising in knitwear in NCAD, Reddington says that she loves working with yarn. “The magic of turning string into a beautiful item of clothing never ceases to amaze me,” she enthuses. “With knit I have such freedom to design the fabric to silhouette. Knitting is very rewarding for me.”
However, the designer does admit that her beloved textile comes with its own unique challenges. “I have to do everything myself!” she says. “Knitting is such a laborious process, it takes me nearly a week to knit a jumper. My most recent collection had 36 pieces! The start-up stage is so expensive for a young designer. Being a designer is unique to most careers, as you have to invest so much money if you want to work. I’m constantly trying to balance being creative and earning a living.”
Luckily, the brilliance of Reddington’s designs is being recognised by the fashion world, so finding that balance might become a little easier as her success grows.
“This has been a great year for me,” she notes. “I’m currently stocked in Brown Thomas as part of Create 2018. I just won the coveted Future Makers Award for the second year and received a RDS Craft Award of Û10,000. All this has given me the confidence to do what I love, and given people the confidence to invest in my brand.”
Reddington’s most recent collection was, as ever, inspired by her raw materials such as Irish Merino Wool, Wexford woven linen and Scottish lambswool.
“With knitting if your yarn isn’t luxurious, then your finished piece won’t be either,” she says. “I have a tight colour palette which is becoming recognisable as my own, so I designed a sophisticated collection featuring my signature striped and geometric patterned jumpers, wrap scarves and oversized cardigans all knit in my theme colours of navy, grey and bursts of neon yellow. A key inspiration for me is the incursion of the industrial into the natural environment. The continual consideration of these elements has culminated in my distinctive collections to date. Through subtly coloured, natural fibres contrasted with urban shots of neon, I investigate the clash between the industrial and the native Irish landscape.”
Reddington is currently working on expanding her brand, designing babywear, menswear and homeware ranges, but you can shop her existing collection in Brown Thomas as part of Create 2018. “I will also be selling at RDS Gifted and the Christmas Flea Market in December, and I’m working on launching my webshop in the next few months. For now, a little sneaky Instagram DM can result in bespoke orders!”
You heard her, slide into those DMs at @pearlreddington or visit pearlreddington.wordpress.com for more information.