Light Fantastic: Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 Cashmere Collection

Irish contemporary knitwear designer Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 collection, pictured here, includes cardigans, short sleeved tops and lightweight sweaters. The nine-piece collection is inspired by the sense of lightness and colour she has found whilst sea swimming in south Dublin, but also by the process of making itself.

Photo of Light Fantastic: Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 Cashmere Collection

For this collection Ros was aiming for lighter pieces that can be worn in the summertime. "I use a lighter-weight cashmere for my Spring/ Summer collections than for Autumn/ Winter,” says Ros. “I have done some new textures this season with a view to keeping the pieces light and delicate and with the aim of creating an almost translucent effect.”

Photo of Light Fantastic: Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 Cashmere Collection

Both the current collection, and the photo-shoot seen here, were inspired by views captured whilst sea swimming in Killiney on Dublin’s south coast early in the morning. “I wanted to capture that sense of being at the beach in the early morning, that sense of the sea meeting the sky, those big clouds billowing across the sky. This experience influenced the colour story of my collection - that milky white and ice white of the clouds combined with sky blue and with red as a contrast.”

Red is not a colour that the designer has utilised often in the past but is one that she is warming to and which is proving popular with customers. Here, she employs an almost tomato red which is a wearable tone that is most flattering.

Photo of Light Fantastic: Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 Cashmere Collection

The photo-shoot seen here was done on Killiney Beach in south Dublin last September. “It was  a gorgeous morning - we had massive blue skies early in the morning and later the clouds began to roll in - creating a beautiful sense of light. Two rivers run into the sea there too, so we used those aspects of the landscape in the shoot. It’s really stunning there early in the morning.”

Photo of Light Fantastic: Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 Cashmere Collection

Ros’ garments feature surface patterns which are created during the knitting and pattern-designing process. As a former pattern-cutter, who has worked with such Irish design legends as Lainey Keogh and John Rocha, she says that much of her work is process-driven.

Photo of Light Fantastic: Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 Cashmere Collection

"What I want to achieve and what I am achieving when I am sampling new designs can be two different things," says the designer."I may have a very strong idea of what I want to achieve when I sit down at the machine, but, equally, I can sit at the machine with a very loose idea and the process can create the outcome.

“That is part of designing, but it’s also about trusting the method as much as the designing process. You are constantly absorbing information all the time and sometimes the process results in something different to your expected outcome. It is about being open to both and also to letting go of ideas that don’t work.”

I love the tactility of cashmere and I want to take it somewhere new. My label is about good design, beautiful surfaces textures and modern luxury

Ros uses the very finest cashmere yarn available on the market in her designs and her range is made entirely in Dublin. “I love the tactility of cashmere and I want to take it somewhere new. When you think of cashmere, it is often a 1950s twin-set that comes to mind, but it doesn’t have to be that way. My label is about good design, beautiful surfaces textures and modern luxury."

Photo of Light Fantastic: Ros Duke's Spring/ Summer 2018 Cashmere Collection

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