The early days of the pandemic made crafters of us all, but side by side with that return of personal DIY resourcefulness, COVID accelerated another, more significant trend: an embrace of—even an insistence on—brands with purpose. “It lit a torchlight,” Chambers said of the crisis. Molloy agreed: “After all these years of working in fashion and just producing and producing, you really feel like it’s time to give something back and to help somebody out, however small.”
The Colville duo aren’t the only ones to think so. When it came time to shoot the blankets, Chambers explained, “we called up Jackie Nickerson, who we have a really great relationship with, and we said, ‘Jackie, we’d just love them to be photographed in any way you can, and she was like, I’m in!’ I love that.” Nickerson shot them on her wild swimming group in Ireland. They all donated their time.
How the blankets were patch-worked together is its own special story. To do the work Molloy and Chambers connected with Manusa, a Florence, Italy, organization that provides vulnerable people, including many immigrants, with skills and job training. “What feels incredible is the amount of hands that have gone into this, who have touched it, who have made it work,” Molloy said. Even better, the partnership didn’t end when the five blankets were finished. Manusa craftspeople made all the knitted collars for the fall 2021 Colville collection.
The auction estimates for the two blankets, which are approximately 165 cm x 185 cm, are €2,000-€3,000. “I see them in a big banking institution behind the reception with a kind of ‘Lest We Forget’ banner,” Chambers said. “The blanket is such a symbol of wrapping people up and keeping them safe, a symbol of this particular time that we’ve all gone through. Nobody’s not been touched by this.” She continued: “Molly and I, we’ve got 101 ideas to carry this concept forward, because it’s just too beautiful to let go of really.”
Contemporary Curated will open for bidding from April 6-13 via Sothebys.com.