Interwoven Life: The Power of Plaid
Since her teenage years in the UK, Lan has always been captivated by the elegance and energy of tartan, the pattern more commonly referred to as plaid in North America.
Although examples of tartan fabric have been discovered in various sites - from Scandinavia to China - throughout antiquity, the place most associated with the pattern in recent centuries is Scotland, where "plaide" refers to a large swath of tartan cloth or a blanket.
The original colors and designs reflected the natural dyes and weaving techniques specific to the various regions among the highlands.
Plaids convey a heartiness, if not necessarily a rusticity. Its grid pattern provides visual structure, a confluence of right angles that transfixes the motion of the eye as if suspended in a net. Its pattern attests to a logic, to a process, to the layout of the loom, containing within it the traces of warp and weft.
Whereas solid fabrics unify, and stripes indicate direction, plaid creates something akin to an interference pattern, a scrambling of perception, that hovers above the actual surface.
When worn outdoors, the crisscross lines stands in stark contrast to the curvilinear forms found in natural, organic growth. The grid almost pops out of the landscape, providing a testament to civilization or at least to craft, a contrast to wild, untamed surroundings.
Lan Jaenicke's black & white plaid is a modern interpretation, a distilled, essential expression of the traditional woven grid.
This striking pattern is a signature design created by Lan herself in collaboration with her textile mill.
She has a deep connection to weaving in various materials - fine textiles from plant and animal fibers - cashmere, silk, linen. But also larger resolution weaves such as in basket or fences. She loves the textures and the depth achieved from interpenetrating fibers, the mathematical logic underlying it. But also for its naturalness, how it becomes part of the environment, with the wearer threaded into the piece itself.
Here seen in the Mitchley Long we have the dramatic counterpoint of hiding under a hood in a pattern that does not go unnoticed. A camouflage for the modern world.