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Photography: Luke Kirwan at Visual Artists

Sponsored / Fashion

The New Tradition Collection: DBLG and Brooke Roberts update the Christmas jumper

Bombay Sapphire has commissioned five artists to rethink traditional decorations of the festive period. The New Tradition Collection has seen each collaborator recreate a Christmas product in an unconventional way. It’s Nice That will be previewing the creations in the weeks leading up to Christmas that will culminate in a special showpiece designed by Bompas and Parr.

“We saw this as a great opportunity to not only challenge the idea of a traditional Christmas jumper but to create something that we would actually want to wear in the pub,” say DBLG. The agency was tasked to redesign the Christmas jumper in an untraditional way and collaborated with designer Brooke Roberts to realise its vision. “We got to work creating an eye-catching festive design that was inspired by the shapes and contours of a sapphire. Right from the start we didn’t want to produce a typical jumper with Rudolph’s face on it. We wanted abstraction, for the viewer firstly to see a lovely designed jumper and then notice the festive element. After a number of brainstorms we created a 3d geometric festive panorama landscape, that wrapped around five jumpers instead of one. This gave us much more flexibility and each jumper had its own individual eye-catching design.”

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DBLG and Brooke Roberts: wireframe design

The final design was created using Cinema 4D and handed over to Brooke to manufacture. “Firstly I selected the yarn colours and textures to complement the design, which had a pixelated geometric feel.  At this stage I decided on weight, drape and chunkiness of the final knit and that informed my yarn selection and determined the knitting machine I would need to use – all of this needs to be planned and booked in advance with the knitting factory,” she explains. “I then set about splitting the artwork across the five jumpers to make the 2D digital image into 3D knits. This is challenging as there is no 3D modelling software for knit, so it’s by eye and interpretation that I programmed the positioning of the artworks across the bodies and sleeves of the jumpers.  By program I mean assigning every pixel in the digital artwork to a needle on the knitting machine to place the design, so it’s painstaking for a panoramic artwork over five jumpers, but the results are really graphic and worth the time.”

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DBLG and Brooke Roberts: Design animation

This process engaged both DBLG and Brooke in a learning experience and both parties relished the challenge. “Most importantly we wanted the jumpers to be premium, we didn’t want them to look like they were made from polyester in a huge factory. So we imported specific yarns from Italy to give the jumpers a premium quality and finish,” explains DBLG. “I got to make the best possible product because the brief allowed me to have creative and technical freedom. It also challenges some of the approaches I am used to, which is way more controlled,” adds Brooke. “This has been a technical challenge as well as a creative one, but the final result will celebrate a very Bombay Sapphire-inspired Christmas via the fusion of digital knitting and hand craft.”  

This Christmas, both DBLG and Brooke will be eschewing the traditional hideous jumper for something more sartorially elegant. “I’ll be wearing a vintage 1980’s Coogi jumper,  the jewel of Australia’s knitting crown (and inspiration for the cuff on my jumper design), as worn by Notorious BIG,” says Brooke. The designers at DBLG are being less modest and will don their own creations, wearing “Number 3! Then 1, 4, 2 and 5!”

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DBLG and Brooke Roberts: refining the pattern for knitting

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DBLG and Brooke Roberts: work in progress

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DBLG and Brooke Roberts: work in progress

Each design for The New Tradition collection is accompanied by a new festive tipple developed by mixologists at Bombay Sapphire. Each mix provides an update of a classic gin drink. Here you can find out how to make the Hot Gin Mocha designed to accompany all sartorial decisions on Christmas day.

SERVES THREE

Recipe:
120ml Bombay Sapphire
3 tsp caster sugar
75ml Crème de Cacao
3 shots of strong espresso
Long shavings of dark chocolate

Method:
1. Combine the espresso with a teaspoon of sugar in a pan and heat
2. Add the measure of Bombay Sapphire
3. Followed by a serving of Crème De Cacao
4. When it reaches a simmer, remove from the heat
5. Serve in suitable vessel, such as a mug or glass with handle
6. Finish with long shavings of dark chocolate.

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