Close knit

Trademark stripes will make way for plain knits in 2005

The winter outlook is bright now that JO GORDON designs are at your fingertips.

Words: Maureen Ellis

all me an old-fashioned luddite. but Daria. that

style-thwarting animated Beans and Burl/wad

progeny. hit the nail on the head when she bemoancd the replacement of her local coffee shop with an internet cafe. To paraphrase the be-spectacled one: are we embracing a global village or alienating individuals from their immediate community‘.’ The same could be said for internet vs local shopping: replacing human interaction with a broadband connection does not for a happy transaction make. But in the case of renowned Scottish knitwear designer Jo (iordon. setting up an online boutique has brought her closer to customers. whether they be in Scotland. London or Japan. ‘When you‘re selling through shops. you never really know who is buying your stuff.‘ she explains. ‘Now I know their exact addresses. Now I know what styles they like. and what colours they‘re buying.‘

It's the Use of bright colours which sets (iordon‘s designs apart. (‘redited widely as the person who put a rocket tip the posterior of tired knitwear accessories. the former sculptor and milliner states emphatically that vibrant colours and their unlikely composition are her trademark stamp. You could have a chicken/egg debate over the reasons behind it. but Jo (iordon‘s influence cannot be underestimated when you consider the public‘s increasingly flamboyant choice of winter accessories. ‘I think people are much more willing to wear bright

96 THE LIST 8 7? Jan 2004


colours nowadays.‘ she says. ‘We've got lots of fluorescent pink in our last collection and it‘s going to be in our next collection. too.‘

Preparations are underway for Autumn/Winter 04/05 collections at the London and Paris fashion weeks in February and March. The designs will feature less of her deliciously juicy stripes. instead incorporating more self—coloured designs and even some ‘fancy stitching'.

Another crucial facet of Jo (iordon knitwear is quality of manufacturing: everything is made in Scotland. It’s a combination that has won over a legion of admirers. High street shops regularly ‘llatter‘ (iordon with their imitations. which is a costly cross to hear. ‘I used to think: “Don‘t they have any integrity?" But now I know there's nothing you can do. In some ways it‘s good because it pushes me to do new things all the time.‘

Another bank of admirers are A- list celebs. and (iordon can count the signatures of Blanchett. Ricci. Driver and Moss among her invoices. The endorsement registers only vaguely. ‘lt does help your product sell more. but at the end of the day I‘m keeping people warm. Someone from Auchterarder who buys a scarf is just as important as Kate Moss.‘

www.jogordon.com; Jo Gordon knitwear is also available at Lost and Dr Jives in Glasgow, and Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh.



Maureen Ellis tells you where to spend your spondoolicks this year

The boutique will reign supreme in 2004 and nowhere will that be more apparent than in the footwear department. You could thank SJP et al for the resurgence in shoe stature footwear can make an ensemble. not just add to it but the price of such individuality can be prohibitive. to say the least. Step forward Shoes in the City, a new boutique on Ruthven Lane, just off Byres Road. It's the antithesis of the stuffy boutique of old (no gold trimmed sandals or diamante-encrusted navy courts here) and stocks a darling range of fashionable footwear for women. For more information call 0141 337 2333.

God willing, 2004 should also mark an end of anaemic interiors. Enough of prescriptive TV design shows extolling the virtues of insipid colours. laminate flooring and uncluttered spaces. What's wrong with a bit of personality and colour? Nowt. we say. Especially in spring, the outdoors should come indoors for a life-giving boost to your home. if you don’t have a garden, window boxes are a godsend (see www.spiral flowers.com). Make the most of IKEA's new colourful fabric range or take a look around The Big Park on Dublin Street (Edinburgh, 0131 558 9360) for some inspired accessories that won’t make your home resemble the pages of Country Living. It is time indeed to live unlimited.