You may have heard me talking before about how I go to my friend Leigh‘s once a month to eat and drink with a bunch of creative women, who all bring some kind of handcrafty thing to work on for the evening. Last week, my friend Liz showed up with some mending in tow, including this vintage Dries Van Noten sweater vest, which I promptly stole from her. (Temporarily! I’ll give it back.) (Probably.) (I mean, she knows where I live.)
It’s an argyle sweater vest, right? Except it’s Dries Van Noten’s take on an argyle sweater vest. It’s bright blue and grey on the bottom; grey, green and another blue up top. It has pink ribbing around the neck and armholes, and a zipper halfway up one side. It’s crazy and amazing, but can we talk about the stitch pattern? I honestly can’t figure out what’s going on here, especially with the sort of double-dashes that run across the diamonds and appear to be simply woven straight across the fabric. If you have thoughts on how any of it is done, please disclose below.
SPEAKING OF CRAZY: I don’t know if it’s the end of tax season or what, but I’m in the mood to pack edibles into the Fringe Supply Co. shipments again! So from now through Sunday, all orders $30 and up (not including shipping) will come with a ginger cookie — my treat.
Cirilia Rose and Dianna Walla are in Iceland for DesignMarch and the Reykjavik Fashion Festival so there’ve been lots of Iceland pics on Instagram making me jealous the past few days. But my eyes almost popped right out of my head on Saturday when Cirilia began posting pics of herself in the dress she’d made to wear. In true die-hard knitter fashion, she’d apparently been up until four in the morning finishing it. And it is so, so Cirilia. She’s used a combination of Loopy Mango’s gargantuan Big Loop yarn and Skacel’s Schoppel Wolle XL. (She’s Creative Director at Skacel, if you’re not familiar with her.) The XL is used in a single strand for the bodice and held double for the bottom-most part of the skirt. The scale of the whole thing and the pastel rainbow on the skirt — which comes from the coloration on the limited-edition Big Loop — are both really charming. But what I’m most infatuated with is the gauge-mixing she’s done (seen in the fish-snacking photo above) and the shape of the bodice — particularly the racer-back-ish armholes and the high, rolled neckline. Just so creative and yet adorable and wearable. She tells me she didn’t think it would be something others would want a pattern for, but the response suggests otherwise, so it sounds like one will be forthcoming.
You can see more pics on her feed, Dianna’s and Stephen West’s, where you can really see the neckline. See also Dianna’s adorable ensemble with knitted collar and the lopapeysa she bought. OMG.
PREVIOUSLY in FO Sightings: Fancy Amber’s heroic vest
Photos belong to Cirilia Rose, used with permission
OK, so these are woven, but there’s no reason they couldn’t be knitted — and imagine how amazing that would be! (Sort of like that Micaela Greg square scarf I’ve never gotten over.)
I just looked up “ruana” at Wikipedia, because I wasn’t sure I had the right word, and learned (duh) that it comes from the Andean style of slit-square blanket ponchos. Do you know about ruanas? Here I think of them as being sold in upscale department stores, always in charcoal or camel, and worn by striking, well-to-do older women. I can’t figure out why they’re not worn by all ages and types — it’s such a smart shape for a wrap! So imagine my joy at seeing these funky patterned ones on the Burberry Prorsum runway. There’s a shearling version on Look 15, but the first woven one walks out with Look 20 and they repeat through Look 32, the only one that’s worn “properly.” The rest are slung chicly over one shoulder. (Which always makes me think of Meryl Streep in “Out of Africa.” Swoon.) I mostly hate the clothes, which is not my usual response to Burberry, but the ruanas? That’ll be sticking in my mind for the foreseeable future.
SALE: Speaking of things that should be way more popular, I’ve marked down a couple of my favorite canvas pouches along with the remaining copies of last spring’s Kinfolk. We’re reorganizing the studio, anticipating new goods, and clearing out the last odds and ends of these few things, so get ’em while they last!
AND: Not on sale, but the XL Bento Bags are back in stock in all three available fabrics!
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—