I’m a little choked up over Christophe Lemaire’s Fall 2014 collection, but I’ll try to make this coherent. There are three major knit trends this season, at home and abroad: tunics and sweater dresses, a preponderance of knitted legwear (swants and such), and elaborately layered and/or multi-tiered knits. It all comes together beautifully and wearably at Lemaire, where there are not only loads of denim culottes and flawless shirtdresses and all manner of things I’d die to wear, but also models absolutely swathed in knits — from the voluminous sweaters and sleeved-adorned scarves tied around their necks down to the ribbed footless tights pulled down over their ankle boots. Can I just refill my empty closet with this whole collection, please? I’d be happy and done.
There have been all sorts of moves toward immediacy in the past few years, where the big fashion shows are concerned — to the point where some shows now allow for people to order the garments as they’re walking down the runways (and then wait months for them to arrive). But I’m pretty sure Wool and the Gang broke new ground this week with the first beanie to grace the catwalk and be available as a knitting pattern on the very same day. Apparently Giles Deacon approached WATG for a collaboration and this Eek Hat was born. WATG created the ones that were worn in Monday’s Giles show, along with 200 more to be scattered all around London Fashion Week in various ways. The Eek is a new spin on the basic Zion Lion hat they do so much with, in this case with big ol’ googly eyes added via duplicate stitch. So dang cute — I want one.
See their blog for the backstory and lots of behind-the-scenes photos.
I have such a design crush on Mona Kowalska of A Détacher. It may be because her personal motto seems to be “Two sweaters are better than one.” Or maybe “There’s no such thing as too many layers.” But for whatever reason, I always find her collections amusing and odd and inspiring. Sweater dresses are a clear trend in the Fall 2014 shows, and Kowalska has several in her collection — including a couple of swoony dress-length hoodies used as layering pieces. She’s also got swants and other sweatpant-shaped pants layered under all the sweaters. Plus thin, meshy turtlenecks under tunics and dresses with sweater-cuffed “sleeves” tied at the waist. Another reason I love her is that she almost always wears it best:
Also: If I can’t have this outfit, I can’t go on.
New York Fashion Week for Fall 2014 is in full swing but I’m still processing the international Pre-Fall looks. It’s been an interesting set of collections, knit-wise. Where the past few seasons have relied mainly on ultra-basic sweaters, creatively worn, Pre-Fall 2014 has been full of all kinds of bright and bold sweaters, under and over everything, such as the retro stripes and varsity pullovers at Gucci and Jonathan Saunders.
They’re fun and all, but my very favorite sweater look is the Chloé ensemble above — one of only two knits in an amazing collection. A killer Moroccan-ish printed (I think) crewneck over a tie-neck blouse (I guess), spotted waterfall-ruffle skirt and the only thigh-high boots I’ve ever wanted. (The only thigh-high boots I’ve ever seen that have not a single whiff of street-walker about them.)
As a yarny collection, though, I think my favorite is Thakoon Addition:
The collection is packed full of swants, soopa scarves, fringed skirts, crop tops, exposed floats — all of it highly covetable and super inspiring. So Thakoon gets both best and worst this time around.
I can’t tell exactly what’s going on with the pullover below, but I can tell you that I want it—
I’ve been obsessing over this photo of Marte Mei Van Haaster for the past few months. Her skin, the braid, the leather and shearling, the polka dots, and that delicious grey sweater holding it all together. Knitting the sweater is a no-brainer. You could totally improvise it as a top-down raglan — just start with a smallish number of neck stitches, and when you go back to knit your ribbing, knit a few more rounds than you would for a standard crewneck. Or, if you’d prefer to work from a pattern and/or don’t want any raglan seams, which this sweater appears not to have, you could use Jared Flood’s round-yoked Grettir, skip the colorwork and knit a mini-mock neck instead of the full turtleneck. So that part’s easy. The real question here is the yarn! At the trade show last month, Shibui had a new sample of Julie Weisenberger’s Veronika that was knitted with one strand of Pebble held with one strand of Silk Cloud and it was heavenly. Could be the perfect light, airy, halo-y fabric for this, and seems like it would knit up nicely at Grettir’s gauge.
See Vanessa’s post for more of Marte’s outfit.
Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission
There have been some overwrought cable sweaters showing up in the Pre-Fall 2014 collections — I’m looking at you Carven — but none kookier than the one-armed sweater at Thakoon, which they liked so much they incorporated it into multiple looks. (When I wore my one-armed Acer to the Top of the Hyatt in San Diego recently, I had no idea I was on trend.) I fear the army of knock-offs this might inspire, but on the other hand, it could be a welcome sight to knitters with Second Sleeve Syndrome!
There is also a two-sleeved version, thankfully. The cablework falls somewhere between inventive and strained — I’m on the fence, but leaning toward like. Actually, the longer I look at this, the more I find myself falling under the spell of the one-armed version.
Speaking of cables and sleeves, apart from the Pepto pink, I’m also rather fond of the cable-sleeved sweater at See by Chloé.
I love love love the chalk-stripe sweater seen here on this unidentified girl (and also on Camille Charriere). Jared Flood’s Breton pattern is an excellent blank slate of a sweater, and a good starting point for recreating this one. The entry-level approach would be to knit it in Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Cast Iron, solid. Then go back in with a strand of Fossil or Snowbound and create the stripes with duplicate stitch. The fancier approach would be stranded knitting. You could still use the Breton pattern, divide your body stitches into equal sections and knit every Nth stitch in the white. The trick is, even if you were to knit the body and sleeves in the round, which you could easily do, the sleeve caps and upper front and back would still have to be knitted flat. Which means you’re doing your colorwork from both the right and wrong sides of the work — no big deal for lots of people. Or you could start with any basic-shaped fair isle sweater with steeks for the neck and arm openings (so the whole thing is knitted in the round and then cut open), use that for your template, and knit the stripes instead of whatever colorwork chart the pattern includes. [UPDATE: And the comments are full of lots of other great alternatives!] So many options! But this one would look chic forever.
See Vanessa’s posts here and here for more views of the sweater and outfits.
Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission