Tim Ryan’s creative process couldn’t be further placed from conveyor belts. A self-taught sorcerer of knits, whose savoir-faire was sparked by a childhood home filled with woollens, each fresh creation is kickstarted a little differently: “I never draw first, I never toile or test, I just sit and start into a piece… Too much planning beforehand and I get bored.” Spurred on by the sense that “a single yarn can create so many possibilities and fabrications,” paired with a penchant for sprightly colour combos, the Tipperary-born, London-based designer has long courted acclaim for his tactual wares.
Whilst Ryan’s machine- and hand-knit dresses (most recently sported by Sonia Lennon) transport my mind’s eye to imagined landscapes – idylls in which hills are cerulean and rivers cerise – his fringed jackets are especially head-turning. Here, he liberally extends beyond fashion’s parameters and heads straight into wearable art; exploding with vibrancy, you’d be hard pressed to find a colour palette he hasn’t embraced.
Ryan approaches his fringing akin to a painting, fuelled more so by instinct than pre-conceptions, but the end result is less static canvas, more performance art: “the open, kinetic textures of the fringing affect how the colours resonate together… I love how that really comes alive when someone wears the pieces.” Perhaps most refreshing is, at the risk of sounding off buzzwords, how organic his success has been.
Rather than feel pressure to brainstorm and craft under London’s faster-than-fast industry pace (its velocity now increasingly questioned and challenged), his independent spirit prevails, ensuring he’ll always work to the click of his own knitting needles.
Newfound fans can custom-order and enquire on pieces through Ryan’s Instagram page – his posts are a goldmine of sleeve-swooshing goodness.
Words: Amelia O’Mahony Brady