No doubt you’ve heard of Lori Versaci.
Lori is a recognized visionary on architectural and uniquely structured knits, making her the perfect choice for Shibui Knits’ recent collection, Form.
Lori has only been designing for a short time, having spent most of her career working in the health care industry. Hard to believe, when you look at her extensive collection, including popular patterns in Twist Collective and Knitty.
Although the collection is very structured, collaboration with Shibui’s Product Development Director Kristin Ford and Creative Director Jenny Trygg was no less than organic, with the trio working back and forth to isolate the collection’s concepts and settle on Form.
“I did most of the design work on the needles,” Lori states, “First I had to spend time thinking about what Form really meant — construct, shape, texture, configuration. These gave me ways of thinking about design. I knew I wanted to play with the pattern of stitches and shapes, how pieces fit together; how they were constructed.”
“For some reason I told them I could do it in 10 days — I told Kristin I felt like I was on Project Runway! The piece that went through the most revision was Span. Initially we envisioned it as a long scarf, with sleeves. But when I knit the first sample… the scarf was too bulky. It would be uncomfortable to wear. So we re-worked the garment two more times before it was just right.”
Despite a seemingly short schedule, the collection has so much thought and depth in its development. Heavily influenced by the yarn, these designs really speak to the underlying goals of Shibui Knits — an acknowledgement of structure and its influence in the final product of knitting, an attention to detail, and above all, wearability that is both timeless and fashion-forward.
“I knitted so many swatches…” Versaci says, “The quality is as good as it gets. The colors are spectacular. After you have finished knitting your pieces and wash them, they are transformed into the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. To me, Shibui is the ultimate luxury yarn line. You can create your own fabrics! I tell Kristin all the time that I am not altogether sure why I design with any other yarns.”
Her “payoff” moment was at the Columbus 2013 TNNA, when photos of her garments were being hung in the booth. “It was so hard for me to believe that I had designed these beautiful pieces. Of course I immediately broke into tears!”
It’s amazing to think that someone with so much talent could be so humble and wonderful. We had a great time working with Lori and can’t wait to see some amazing versions of her designs begin to walk through the doors of Knit Purl!