When: 11am Thursday 24th of March
Where: Personel Shopping, Harvey Nichols, Exchange Sq, Manchester
What we ate and drank: Pastries, fruit platters and tea.
Mark Fast is a Canadian designer who works from London, knitting perfectly formed dresses that hug a ladies figure and make no judgment or comment about her size. A special blend of wool and lycra see’s Mark Fast’s designs fitting women of every shape and size. Most notably, size 12 and 14 models on the London Fashion Week catwalks whose wearing the designs caused such a stir it left Mark Fast without two members of his enraged stylist team.
Still, Fast knows his customer and his brand and is respectful of them both in his approach to designing fashionable clothing for women.
Pinko, the Italian brand founded by Cristina Rubini and Pietro Negra, knows Fast’s approach to design is both commercially viable and creative genius. Fast traditionally creates his designs on a household knitting machine but Pinko’s global brand has mass manufactured Fast’s blueprint to bring the design to the global high end market. Negra states: “We’ve optimised our production process and made great technical efforts to mass-manufacture his prototypes without losing that perfect quality/price ratio by which the market has always acknowledged us.”
Emma and I were invited to Harvey Nichols to meet Pinko brand manager Katia and to sample the Pinko by Mark Fast capsule collection before anyone else in the North West. The exclusive collection is stocked in Pinko internationally and in Harvey Nichols London and Manchester. In Harvey Nichols the collection was kept off the shop floor until later that afternoon, for the exclusive viewing of Personal Shopping customers.
A fuchsia piece perfect for Spring/Summer and Pinko with the signature knit and style of Mark Fast. He garment is decorated by holes that are scorched into submission to prevent fraying and to avoid the need for stitching. All fast’s garments are seamless and form one intricate piece that morphs to the body’s shape.
Caborone Dress, Pinko by Mark Fast £300. All bags, by Pinko £300-400
Knitting can create many looks and textures including this skirt that has more lycra fused in the fabric to help give a sports luxe feel.
Top, Pinko by Mark Fast £390. Skirt, Pinko by Mark Fast £320.
Katia couldn’t help but show us some of the key looks from the main Pinko Collection. This trench got us talking as it is a transforming item for those quick changes from day to night or office to thunder storm. By removing the sleeves and the collar this trench coat becomes a dress, simple.
Dress/Coat, Pinko £470.
Inspired by Pinko then head to Harvey Nichols, craving Pinko by Mark Fast? Head to Harvey Nichols London or Harvey Nichols Manchester for the next two weeks to catch the capsule collection exclusive.
Words and images by Jordan McDowell.