The Handwoven Baskets Pushing Cottagecore Couture to the Forefront

Erin Pollard wants to make cottagecore couture happen. Her medium of choice? Basket weaving. Today, the founder of Underwater Weaving Studio and Condé Nast’s executive director of fashion partnerships is doing just that with a new assortment of all-handmade rattan baskets launching on the überluxe Moda Operandi. A total of 26 pieces from Pollard’s spring/summer collection range in sizes and styles and are slated to drop with Moda Operandi’s Trunk Shows—a program that gives customers a small window of opportunity to shop select styles from emerging labels. It’s a major win for Pollard, who launched Underwater Weaving Studio in September 2023.

Pollard came into the field through her mother, Peggy, who owned a craft store and worked for L.L.Bean as a professional basket weaver before retiring. 30 years later, Pollard tapped her mother for the collab. “Growing up in Maine, I remember observing my mother making baskets and teaching her skills to friends and community members,” she tells AD.

Seeing the basement filled with reed and dye buckets inspired the founder to take on the skillset, but she wanted to do so in a not-so-traditional way. “I approach it almost as art, and it became a real creative outlet for me,” she says. At the end of the day, Pollard’s vision is to make one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by folk art elements, fashion, and even Japanese farming culture.

Underwater Weaving Studio’s spring/summer 2024 collection of handwoven baskets is now available to shop on their official website and on Moda Operandi’s Trunk Shows platform, where it will live for the next three months. Prices range from $141 for a miniature style to $924 for a three-piece bundle.

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“My mission is to bring back baskets in the home to reconnect us to ‘gather and nurture,’” she says of her baskets. “I want [basket weaving] to bring us back to earth.”

Photo: Courtesy of Erin Pollard, Fyodor Shiryaev

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The Seaside Bicycle Basket in action.

Photo: Courtesy of Erin Pollard, Fyodor Shiryaev

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Pollard suggests ways to style her baskets beyond the home—adding flowers and ribbons or carrying them out as an accessory—are all ways of embracing the “cottagecore couture” message. “I wish [this phrase] would catch on,” she laughs.

Photo: Courtesy of Kate Moran

Underwater Weaving Studio Folk Fleur Breakfast Tray

Underwater Weaving Studio Little Love Basket

Underwater Weaving Long Stem Pack Basket

Underwater Weaving Seaside Bicycle Basket

Underwater Weaving Sweet Onion

Underwater Weaving Underwater Hand Basket Medium

Underwater Weaving Underwater Woven Tote, Large

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