Ply-knits

by Niza Metoyer

With it getting cold this winter — as cold as it can possibly get in LA — playful knits are all the rage. Carolyn Yim of Ply-knits recently released her third portrait series, Documentations of the Ordinary, in honor of the brands new collection of knitwear made at her grandmother's third-generation factory. The photo’s depict images of models wearing the gentle, essential styles. Each piece is not only unique in design but also in the way it’s made, with knitwear remade from recycled or dead-stock yarn. Ply-knits boasts vintage cashmeres, merinos, and silks in thicknesses 1-ply to 12-ply sourced from family mills around the world.

Before she began her journey in fashion and art, Yim studied literature, philosophy and the arts at Columbia University. She was often fascinated by the way in which notable women across cinema, literature, and art were dressed throughout time and drew from these looks to inspire her work. 

Every collection released by Yim features a portrait series of women sporting her knitwear. Yim explains her inspiration and drive through the portrait series: 

“Ply-knits’ third photo series documents four women. We look past conventional representations of outward beauty, glamour, and youth, and notice strength in other ways. Consider: women’s inner strength, polite decorum, and quiet gravitas. Or masterful wit, or long-learned expertise.  Beauty has a wide representation of age, race, and character… This is pertinent in the digital age because the pressure to look conventionally beautiful creates unhealthy distortions in selective framing, filtering, and digital enhancements. Just take one (or ten) looks at social media’s endless upward current. Presciently, Susan Sontag writes, ‘In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects... To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.’” 

Sensations of the Ordinary introduces four women to the world through the lens of a camera; two artists and two models: Stephanie, Gail, Amy, and Margarita, all varying in age and ethnicity. The shoot was done over two days while the subjects were out on the street and at home. The imagery perfectly reflects the uniqueness and versatility of  the clothing. Just like the knitwear itself, the photos allow the models to shine.