SHOW OF HANDS: If there is one thing Barrie artistic director Augustin Dol-Maillot enjoys above all else in his work, it’s challenging the mastery of material of the cashmere specialist’s craftspeople — their “hand” — with ideas beyond the field of knit.
“When you think only about knitwear, you quickly paint yourself into a corner. What I enjoy is the surprise of thinking about [things] that aren’t knitted and letting the work of craftspeople result in something magical,” he told WWD, having previously turned the brand’s signature material into distressed denim, shearling or the kind of substantial jersey used for sweatshirts.
This time, he added another set of skilled hands to the conversation: those of silversmith Goossens.
The two Chanel-owned specialist ateliers found a common denominator in the medallion, a classic jewelry item that echoes the idea of patches that Dol-Maillot has been playing with. Here, Goossens’ gilded zodiac-sign line was turned into textured knitted motifs, painstakingly reproduced right down to the tiny turquoise cabochon that becomes a dash of bright blue cashmere.
Seven styles have been created, ranging from a cardigan scattered with zodiac medals and matching miniskirt to a long-sleeved sweater featuring one’s favorite star sign on the chest and finished with a row of gilded buttons at the shoulder. A scarf and a beanie sporting a miniature zodiac medal complete this lush lineup.
On the Goossens side, it’s Barrie’s homeland of Scotland that provided the inspiration for medals, lending its symbols of thistle, rose and lion, as well as flowers arranged in a paisley motif, all finished with a garnet.
Consumers will be able to get their hands on the Barrie x Gossens collaboration in October.