Most designers can recall childhood experiments in sewing, modifying dresses, or other DIY fashions. We've only heard of one, however, that actually knit a sweater for his favorite Monchichi monkey doll. A native of Sweden where, "everyone learns to knit," Lars Andersson is still using his childhood skills to fashion shorts, sweaters, and tanks for a more cosmopolitan, if equally civilized, form of primate: The male hipster.
Using simple looming machines, a small staff, and plenty of care, Andersson produces softly draped streetwear out of unexpected stitches from his Brooklyn studio, creating a novel take on the stripes and low-slung tops familiar to that borough. Now, the burgeoning women's designer and his knitters are turning their attention to menswear in a new collection that will be available in stores this February. Taking cues in simplicity and sexual ambiguity from Horses-era Patti Smith, Andersson has come up with a mix of blousy feminine silhouettes and relaxed shorts right in line with the trends coming out of this month's Milan, Paris, and Stockholm men's shows. Still, there is a weight to these hoodies and tanks that keeps them in the masculine mold. "I like living-on-the-edge people," he says of Smith. "That's what she looks like to me. But it still has that androgynous, clean, simple thing. That's what I want my clothes to be."