"The beginning of the order fair with a hint of summer" Alan Knit Production Diary (September)
STORY | 2019/10/16
Two pairs of slippers were neatly arranged at the entrance of the atelier. It's said that the heat and cold are until the equinoctial week, but it's completely autumn, and I feel that the knit season is approaching.
Yuki vacuums every nook and cranny of her atelier, sprinkles a woody-based room spray, and looks impatiently waiting for customers to arrive.
An order party will be held today. You can have YUKI FUJISAWA's Aran knit series "Sweater in Memory" finished according to your wishes. The order fair will be held over 4 days, and 2 groups will welcome customers for each frame.
"Thank you for coming today. I'm designer Yuki Fujisawa. Nice to meet you." Yuki greets the customers when they are all gathered.
"We have a lot of knitwear available today. This is a reservation session where you can choose the base knitwear from among many, and even make a full order, including where to put the foil and the color of the foil. There are so many knitwear, so I'm worried. I think it's going to end up ... but please try to get more and more things that you care about."
Aran knits are lined up in the atelier. There are pure “white” that has not been dyed, and past dyed colors “archive dyed”, but the first thing customers pick up is the new color of this year, purple and navy “opal dyed”. is.
"If you're interested, please try it on," says Yuki. “As you try on the knitwear, you will find out what kind of knit suits you. By the way, which do you prefer, the pullover or the cardigan?”
"I don't usually wear cardigans, but when I put them on like this, they look cute and I'm still undecided," said one customer. "When I applied for the order event, I was going to ask for the 'weave' of the foil to be put in, but this 'powder snow' is also cute."
At this year's order fair, you can choose the design of the foil from "weave" or "powder snow". As the name suggests, the “stitch” is a design that makes the stitches of the knit stand out, a style that has been used in the Aran knit series so far. On the other hand, “powder snow” is a new pattern that was newly designed in time for this day.
“I had been thinking about a new pattern for a long time, but I couldn’t think of a design that really stuck out. The pattern started to look beautiful, and I finally thought that this kind of design would fit in. From there, I spent time working on the design little by little, and created a “powder snow” image of the snow slowly piling up on the shoulders. "
"This knit is heavy." A customer holding a navy-dyed knit mutters. "Yes. That sweater is heavy, but it's warm enough that you don't even need an outerwear," says Yuki. The customer smiles and says, "I think I can go to snow country with this."
It's sunny today, and the light is shining. However, in order not to get sweaty even when trying on knitwear, the air conditioner is turned on strongly. There is still a hint of summer outside the atelier, but here the smell of the forest hangs in the air and the air is cool. While imagining the season when the powder snow piles up, the customer tries on the clothes repeatedly.
This is the second time that YUKI FUJISAWA has held an individual order event for Aran knitwear. The first event was held two years ago in the winter.
“When I started the brand, I was still a student, and for a while I worked in a room at my parents’ house. When I was holding an exhibition at an outside gallery, I began to feel that I wanted to challenge myself to create an individual order event for customers rather than an exhibition for the store. It's been since we held an individual order meeting in the month."
Prior to that, Yuki had held exhibitions several times, but they dealt with dresses and tote bags, and he said that it had been a long time since he had held an individual order event for Aran knitwear.
“Usually when I am working alone, I am interested in the material itself, such as 'how to make this vintage more beautiful' and 'how to make it lively', so rather than imagining what the wearer will look like, I am more conscious of the vintage material itself. I had a lot of things to focus on.”
By dyeing and applying foil to old clothes, Yuki transforms them into “NEW VINTAGE” works. I think about what kind of processing to apply there while facing the material alone in the atelier, and deliver the completed work to the shop. In the process, there is no opportunity to meet the person who actually wears it. However, at the order fair, I will be facing each customer individually, so I will be in a different mode than usual.
"Before the order fair started, I was nervous about many things, and I started to worry about things like 'no one will come' and 'the texture of the knit is stiff' (laughs). Knit is supposed to be that kind of material, but once I started to get interested in it, I couldn't stop.
Their worries turned out to be unfounded, and the customers happily tried on the clothes. Seeing that, Yuki seemed somewhat relieved.
“When you hold an event like this, you really feel gratitude,” says Yuki.
“As you go about your daily life, there are times when you think, ‘I wanted to go to that movie or that exhibition, but before I knew it, it was already over.’ Thank you for giving me this time in my life and making it all the way to my atelier. I always think that I must never forget the feeling of
Two groups of customers have decided on the knitwear to purchase and are racking their brains about what kind of foil to use next. A customer who chose a navy sweater with long sleeves hesitated and chose to print foil on the cuffs as well.
“Since the sleeves are long, I think that the foil is usually hidden because the sleeves are folded up. I think I'll show the foil and wear it."
Watching the order fair makes me feel like I'm getting a glimpse of the customer's lifestyle. She is currently trying on Aran knitwear in her atelier, but actually wearing it is part of her daily life. While staring at the mirror in my atelier, I imagine how I will feel in the near future, and imagine myself in the future wearing a knit. Then, I choose the places where the foil will be placed so that the first suit will fit me perfectly in the future.
“Then, I will take good care of these children.”
After deciding what kind of foil to print, Yuki cuts it out to the customer. "Until November, goodbye for a while. We will deliver it just in the season when you can wear knitwear."
After sending the customer off, the atelier fell silent. Until the next customer arrives, Yuki inspects the knitwear, finds holes, and repairs them. Waiting for winter to come while repeating the daunting work.
words by Rinshi Hashimoto