Old Tat love to support the up and coming! Bronagh Courtney is a young British designer studying at university. She created some beautiful knitwear for our AW15 ”cats and hags” issue. Bronagh explains the inspiration behind her work.
Tell us about your brand and what you create.
My brand creates knitwear for women between the ages of 18-30 using only natural fibres. My brand shows that it is possible to care about the environment and wear beautiful, stylish knitwear, no matter what the season.
Why did you choose to work with knitwear?
You can see what are creating as you produce it, and then you can make manipulations as you wish during the process. There’s an unbelievable amount of stitches for all the different practices within knitting; there’s no limit to what you can produce.
How much of your work is produced by hand?
This whole collection was knitted by hand. The process is very time consuming but I love spending my whole day, day after day, knitting.
Is it problematic that knitwear is generally restricted to A/W trends?
No, it’s not a problem at all! In the summer it’s exciting to move into the fine gauge knitting, or using very loose stitches. My skirts and tank tops are a great example of how a garment designed for A/W can be worn during the summer.
Where do you draw influences and inspiration from?
One of my main influences for knitwear is an Irish designer called Honor Fitzsimons who creates vibrant and complex knitwear. For this particular project I was given the exciting theme of ‘Cats and Hags’ so I mostly used ‘Pinterest’ to gather visuals.
You collaborated with Old Tat for an editorial and created some exclusive looks. How did you decide what to create?
I had so much inspiration for the editorial, there was no stopping me after I’d been given the theme. I knew I would produce jumpers and skirts as these are typically ‘granny chic’ staples, but I wanted to give the collection a twist. I kept Old Tat updated throughout the whole process and they really were a dream to work with.
What makes your work so suited for Old Tat?
Old Tat have a similar ethos as I do, such as a passion for up-cycling and a subsequent consideration for the environment. Plus the magazine is so much fun and perfect to let my creativity run wild.
How does your work suit Old Tat’s A/W cat lady?
My work allows the perfect cat woman to express her love of cats in a subtle and fashionable way this A/W. The cats add a spark of fun to my garments, whilst still keeping with the comfort of an A/W collection. I keep in mind the lifestyle my target audience has.
What is your favourite piece from this collection?
My favourite piece is the mustard and grey jumper featuring cream cats along the bottom. I love that colour combination in the autumn and the 2X2 rib on the arms creates a lovely shape.
What do cats represent for you?
Cats represent independence, confidence and they move so gracefully. This movement I feel can be transmitted into my clothes. My garments flow gracefully, and women will feel independent and confident when they wear my pieces.
What is the dream?
My dream is that one day I will be able to live solely off of my business. That’s the dream.
Words by Alice Freeman