It is difficult to mention Mark Fast without acknowledging the furore he caused when he featured plus-size models in his autumn/winter 2010 show. Fast forward two and a half years and the Canadian designer known for his intricate knitwear manages to maintain interest in his designs rather than the models wearing them.
With a ready-to-wear label to his name as well as a diffusion line and consultancy work, Fast has no concerns that his designs do not have an audience. Now, he is expanding that customer base even further collaborating with hosiery-brand Jonathan Aston.
"I thought it would be brilliant because the work of the Jonathan Aston brand is quite intricate," Fast tells me at the launch of the collection. "It's quite innovative technologically and feminine as well. I always loved hosiery: that's where all my work originates from – all my dresses are enlarged hosiery detailing. I didn't want to get too conceptual," he says of the collection's black and grey palette enlivened by flashes of orange and blue.
Inspired by music as well as technology, Fast designed the pieces with fellow Canadian musician Grimes in mind. "I think this is a very Grimes girl – that mixture of goth, with rave and high street. When you mix all those combinations into one you can just be a free spirit.
"The fans that like my work want to be courageous with their wardrobes. The more accessible the product is, the more people are able to share in the excitement of a garment."
In light of that egalitarian approach to fashion, Fast hopes to expand into menswear, hosiery included: "I'm thinking about it all the time, I'm just waiting for it to evolve because it's definitely on my mind."