If you have soft spot for the chunky knits of Sandra Backlund or Dave Cole, you definitely need to know about Taiwanese designer Johan Ku and his “emotional sculptures.” Now based in London, Ku takes hand-knit and crochet techniques and blows them up in scale, creating a new form of homespun wizardry that depicts the wilder side of fashion.
Ku has a background in graphic design and textile studies, so it only makes sense that his expressive style encompasses three-dimensional knitting and free-form silhouettes. When it comes to exploring the upper limits of gauge, his methods know no limits. Ku sculpts his organic-baroque garments from raw wool tops and giant needles (à la Christien Meindertsma)—or simply his own fingers.
Ku sculpts his organic-baroque garments from raw wool tops and giant needles—or simply his own fingers.
Experimentation with form and function has led the emerging designer down several avenues, from high-end women’s ready-to-wear to wearable sculptures that involve reconstructing fabric and fibers through needle-punch, crochet, and stitching techniques.