One of the most refreshing new talents in the world of knitwear and womenswear design is Ryan Roche, an avid pink devotee, upstate New Yorker and mother of three. Roche begun her creative journey with her conscientious children’s wear label Mor Mor Rita, established ten years ago in Williamsburg.
Shortly after its launch, requests from brand enthusiast mothers for larger, women’s sizes, were too hard to ignore and Roche launched her namesake brand in 2011. It was a natural transition between the two, thanks to her prior following and since then the brand has gone from strength to strength. Currently waiting to hear results of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in early November, where Roche is one of the finalists.
Her use of the colour pink is one of the brands most discerning factors; the colour features in every collection predominately and ranges from nudes and peaches, to neons, and back again. But rather than the age old stigmatism surrounding the ‘pink is for little girls’ idea, the palette is subtle and becoming, even tough at times. Quoted saying that, “no better colour exists in so many lovely shades”; within Roche’s world, pink is for women, and all their variations.
From time to time though, this intriguing use of specific colour overshadows the brilliance within the rest of the work. Beautiful hand crocheted pieces adorn nearly every season, as well as luxurious cashmere, knitted by a women’s cooperative in Nepal that Roche has been working with since 2004.
Not only that; the garments themselves are all relevant and contemporary – not that brazen transience found on the innumerable mass consumption catwalks – but a different fad free sense of style, shape and modernity.
The new Spring 2015 collection is a beautiful melange of quintessential wool knit, cashmere and silk, but with beautiful interjections of indigo denim pieces that bring a beautiful depth of contrast to the pastel hues.
Roche’s designs reflect our resurrected societal need to revive artisan labour, this ‘know-how’ is critical to ‘the future of our planet’ says Lidewij Edelkoort; “society at large is weaving new alliances and spinning different connections”. The fluid, earthy hand made aesthetic appeals to our need to once again reconnect with human values and ground ourselves, understand our clothing and salvage its perceived value. Ryan Roche is at the forefront of this movement, allowing her customers to connect with their clothing, tell their own personal story through her crafting capabilities.