Nikki Gabriel has a unique textile design career that spans across small artisan studio practice to industrial knitwear design roles in Australia. She launched her own knitwear label in 2003, and since then has been commissioned by many high profile Australian designers for the design and production of bespoke knitted product for fashion, interiors, professional dance and theatre costume; collections that have traveled to Paris and New York Fashion Weeks, and costume included in performances around the globe. Her work has been exhibited alongside Issey Miyake and Walter Van Beirendonck and she currently resides in New Zealand while she continues to produce her knitwear collections, which is supplied to select high-end fashion stores in limited quantities.
Nikki created the DIY design concept called CONSTRUCTION KNITTING in 2009 that presents knitting patterns as series of basic geometric shapes constructed into modular garment formations. The projects have been developed both commercially and as academic research as a Masters of Art & Design Degree. The study analyzes the contexts and culturalisation of knitting in it's intersections with fashion, design, craft and technology, where the focus of the methodology is to cross boundaries through a multidisciplinary approach. As co-creative fashion exercises, these knitting patterns potentially engage a user in a deeper understanding of the design process where they can develop, adapt or evolve knitted shapes to suit their own needs.
Completed a MASTER OF ART & DESIGN, AUT UNIVERSITY, NEW ZEALAND. A Research Degree on Construction Knitting / Devising a design process that applies geometric principles as a mechanism for design / facilitating innovative use of various knitting technologies including industrial two-dimensional and three-dimensional machine knitting.
Featured in the CRAFT COMPANION book authored by Ramona Barry and Rebecca Jobson, published by THAMES & HUDSON, Australia.
Designed and produced Ballet Costume for the UNIVERSAL BALLET DANCE COMPANY, SEOUL, KOREA; ‘Giselle’ by Choreographer Graeme Murphy, commissioned by Sydney based Costume Designer, Jenny Irwin.
Guest Lecturer and Workshops at the KUOPIO ACADEMY OF DESIGN, FINLAND. Workshops and lecture series on the Construction Knitting Method to undergraduate textile and fashion students.
KUOPIO ACADEMY OF DESIGN, FINLAND purchase publishing rights for Construction Pattern No. 3 knitting pattern, to be printed in the Finnish Language.
Featured in the‘FASHION KNITWEAR’ BOOK, LAURENCE KING PUBLISHING, U.K, amongst 40 other international designers including Missoni, Sibling and Sonia Rykiel; authored by Jenny Udale.
Designed and made knitted dance costume for the BANGARRA DANCE COMPANY, held at SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, AUSTRALIA for the ‘Patyegarang’ performance; commissioned by Sydney based costume designer, Jenny Irwin.
Featured in textbook ‘BASICS: TEXTILES & FASHION’ BOOK, published by BLOOMSBURY PRESS, and printed by FAIRCHILD BOOKS, U.K., authored by Jenny Udale. A designer profile feature in an international textbook for undergraduate textile and fashion students.
Designed and developed knitting patterns for AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY SPINNERS, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA based on the Construction Knitting technique for yarn brands, 'Cleckheaton' and 'Patons'. Published by ACS, and distributed to Spotlight chain stores in Australia & NZ.
Invited to present at 'Stretching the Limits', AUT UNIVERSITY, NEW ZEALAND; a Symposium held on research and development in knitted applications within Academia and Industry.
Designed and Produced knitted theatre costume for MOONSHADOW MUSICAL, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, commissioned by Costume Designer Harriet Oxley.
Designed and Produced knitted dance costume for AUSTRALIAN BALLET COMPANY and BANGARRA DANCE collaborative performance ‘INFINITY’ opening performance at MELBOURNE ARTS CENTRE, commissioned by costume designer, Jenny Irwin.
Winner of the MELBOURNE DESIGN AWARD for Textile & Surface Design Category, for the Construction Knitting Patterns; judged by the Design Institute of Australia, Victoria Branch.
Authored ‘The HANDKNITTER’S YARN GUIDE; A VISUAL REFERENCE TO YARN’S & FIBRES’; commissioned by ROTOVISION, U.K., Published by St Martins Press (New York), Murdoch Press (Australia) and Search Press (U.K.). A 200 page book written as a reference guide to 180 types of knitting yarns covering specifications of each type of knitting fibre and fibre blend.
Featured in the Nelson TEXTILES AND DESIGN TEXTBOOK for Preliminary and HSC, High School Course Subject, ‘Textile Design’ Australia. Authors Lynda Peters and Christine Castle.
Exhibited in THE ENDLESS GARMENT EXHIBITION, RMIT GALLERY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA; The Virtuosity and Future Directions of the Craft of Machine Knitting; showcasing Nikki’s archival knitwear fashion collection amongst the work of other international designers, ISSEY MIYAKE (Japan), SANDRA BACKLUND (Sweden), WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK (Belgium), COOPERATIVE DESIGNS (U.K.), MARK FAST (U.K.), YOSHIKI HISHINUMA (Japan), SAVERIO PALATELLA (Italy), FREDDI ROBBINS (U.K.), SIBLING (U.K.).
Curated by Robyn Healy and Ricarda Bigolin.
Invited to host Construction Knitting Workshops at POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, as part of SYDNEY DESIGN FESTIVAL, AUSTRALIA.
Created Visual Merchandise Display for PORTMANS Fashion Retailer, Melbourne Australia.
Commissioned for design and manufacture of Knitted Lighting Project ‘Joanie Lamp’ for LIGHTLY, Melbourne, Australia.
Launched the Construction Knitting Pattern Projects and Bespoke yarn product, WOOLI. Designed, developed and manufactured yarn which included sourcing fibres, and spinning mill manufacturers to create finished yarn product. Distributed product to retail stores.
Commissioned by West Australian based designer, AURELIO COSTARELLA to create knitwear for S/S09 Fashion Collection presented at New York Fashion Week. 2009.
Launched Knitwear label 'Nikki Gabriel' at MERCEDES BENZ SYDNEY FASHION WEEK.
Commissioned by Sydney based designer, AKIRA ISOGAWA to create knitwear line for Printemps S/S 03/04 presented at Paris Fashion Week. 2005.
Completed a Diploma of Arts / Studio Textiles & Design at RMIT, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Australia.
Knitwear Designer for Besserman Corporation labels Rosie & Dixie, and Sable, Melbourne, Australia. A freelance industrial knitwear designer role for season intervals until 2008.