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iStyle: Knit so clever now

Urban architecture was the inspiration behind a luxurious new cashmere  collaboration, says Naomi Attwood

The back-story behind a rather special new knitwear capsule collection is, as they say in those so-bad-they’re-good American crime dramas, “a real doozy”, ie, one worth telling. Back in 2009, the photographer and art director Anna Murray and the product designer Grace Winteringham decided to make their joint obsession for all things patterned into a unique new company, and thus Patternity was born.

Though it started out as a comprehensive online pattern image archive, Patternity now comprises a pattern research and consultancy department as well as an award-winning design studio. The duo’s brainchild boasts an impressive list of clients and collaborators peppered with the likes of Celine, Clarks Originals and Nike and the BBF, Barbican and the Victoria & Albert museum.

Patternity’s mission is to open our eyes to the patterns that surround us, and a visit to its website is more than worthwhile, taking in as it does the world’s most striking patterns – from art to architecture, wildlife to the catwalk. Not to mention winning a few awards along the way.

When Murray was introduced to another female fashion duo, Anna Singh and Rachael Wood the conscious clothiers behind Chinti and Parker, via a mutual friend it presented an “exciting opportunity to work with the ultimate knitwear specialists, merging our pattern innovation with such a staple and specialist product”.

The inspiration for the collection was “urban architecture and the fundamental building blocks of life that surround us everywhere we go”. As such, the designers aimed to “remix” Chinti’s basic garment shapes with their trademark geometric pattern designs. According to the knitters who created the prototypes, creating the circular and geometric patterns was fiendishly challenging.

The collection launched yesterday on chintiandparker.com, net-a-porter.com and matchesfashion.com.