The big-4 Fashion Weeks are currently underway (NY, London, Milan, Paris) and I haven’t seen any of it yet! But Stockholm went first, and I’m crazy about this collection by new-to-me label Totême. The Spring collections are often my favorite because I find them inspiring for the early fall moment that’s upon us and also interesting for seeing where fashion is headed six months out — how spring builds on the seasons before it. But this particular collection — especially the look up top — actually makes me a little bit nostalgic for my Paris suitcase, and extra excited to wear some of those outfits that either didn’t get worn or have only been worn that week. I believe the pants in the first two photos (looks 15 and 4) are rib knit, and I want them; they look amazing with both of these tops. The red blouse sent me running back to Folkwear’s smock patterns, and I want this exact same scarf in knitted shawl form. (Although my striped sweater serves that purpose beautifully.) The stylized cable sweater (look 7) stays just on the right side of being stylized but not overly gimmicky or trendy, and the entire look below (5) makes my heart race. Overall, amazing silhouettes and so much food for fall wardrobe thought right now.
PREVIOUSLY: The best of Fall 2017
Random observations on the Fall 2017 collections: It’s a very strong army-green season, which happens every few years and always feels like home to me. (It’s always army-green season in my world.) There’s a tremendous amount of denim in the shows — deconstructed/reconstructed pieces of all kinds everywhere. Celine says it’s safe to take your blankie with you. This might be the best twinset ever. Conversely, the one-armed sweater is back. But what I really want to talk about are all the scarves (and matching scarves and sweaters) and the button-up ruanas — scarves-as-garments — which I’m compelled to called scarfigans: Exhibit A, the army version, at Apiece Apart (above). Exhibit B at M.Patmos. And a non-knitted, big-pocketed variation, Exhibit C also at M.Patmos. Among others. The best of the best of the scarves is the one below, from endless-summer label Lemlem — a show full of appealing mash-ups of fluttery tops and sweatpants, the best of both worlds. But it’s the garter-ombré-stripe effect of the scarf, seen also on a hoodie, that I can’t get out of my head. I did something slightly similar with a scrappy cowl when I was very first knitting and I’m now re-pondering all that for my long-planned leftovers sweater.
(Speaking of army green: The army Porter Bin will officially be back on July 28th!)
PREVIOUSLY: First of the Best of Fall 2017: Simple shapes and sweaters
I started to type I’ve begun to think about Fall, but honestly, when am I not thinking about Fall? What I mean is I’ve begun to think in earnest about shapes — especially what shape I want my fisherman to be, and how I want to wear it in the near term. So naturally, I took a stroll through the Fall 2017 shows, which I hadn’t had a chance to do yet, and I am in love with the Elizabeth & James collection — so many lovely intersections of proportion and knitwear to be lingered over. Like the simple red mock-neck with slightly exaggerated skirt, the incredible cardigan-coat in grey and charcoal, and the chic little waffle sweater — the coolest long johns top ever — with narrow black pants. To name just a few.
PREVIOUSLY: Pre-Fall 2017
I love how simultaneously retro and au courant Dutch model Marthe Wiggers looks in this slinky, ribbed, black mock-neck sweater and motorcycle jacket. Such simplicity with that sweater, and as usual what makes it noteworthy are the tiny little details — the proportion of the peaks and valleys of that ribbing, and the shift in scale from the sweater to the neck. Which is easy enough to emulate. Vintage patterns would be the best bet on this one, but there are some available options to work from. There’s a reasonably similar Rowan pattern from a few years ago, Fiori (just add ribbing) but it’s worsted weight, whereas Marthe’s sweater seems to be a fine-gauge machine knit. So I’m going to recommend Pierrot’s characteristically rudimentary, English-translated Japanese pattern called 22-23-20 Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater (free pattern), which is written for fingering weight. (As with pretty much all Japanese patterns, it’s one size, so add to the stitch count as/where necessary to adjust the width.) To make it look more like Marthe’s, try the rib in 2×1 or even 3×1, switching to 1×1 on smaller needles for the collar. And instead of knitting the neck to full turtleneck length, stop at about 3”. Yarn-wise, for that gorgeous heathered black I’m a big fan of Quince and Co’s Sabine colorway, which is available in fingering-weight Finch.
For more photos and Marthe’s full outfit, see Vanessa’s original blog post. And for guidance on how to read a Japanese knitting pattern, click here.
PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Camille Charriere’s stripes
Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission
Here’s a styling option I hadn’t considered for my striped pullover: shiny pants! Never happen, but I admire how striking Camille Charriere looks in these photos — showing the world that black-and-white does not equal boring. And I do look forward to wearing mine slung over my shoulders like this — one styling holdover from my teen years that I’ve never not loved in the interim. All you really need to approximate this sweater is my notes on my striped sweater, but the other option would be to pick your favorite basic pullover pattern and simply knit it in alternating stripes. Camille’s sweater looks to be more like 1.5″ or 2″ stripes (as opposed to my 2.5″ awning stripes) and more of a truer, flatter black and white than mine. So for yarn, you might consider Brooklyn Tweed’s new Arbor in Kettle and Thaw. I’m told Thaw is technically a really pale icy grey (I haven’t seen it in person) but it would read more white against the black than an undyed (ivory) yarn would. Not a lot of yarns include both black and white in the palette, so feel free to pipe up below with other ideas! As far as the other sweater details, it looks like the waist ribbing spans the last two stripes, and the ribbed cuffs might actually be grey? They seem darker than the white stripes, and I like the idea of that, either way.
For Vanessa’s suggestions on the rest of Camille’s look, see her original blog post.
PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Perfect grey turtleneck
It’s good that the Fall 2017 collections will be starting in about 10 minutes, because I’m fairly underwhelmed by the Pre-Fall ones. Not surprisingly though, Joseph is once again at the top of my list of exquisite knits (alongside incredible woven pieces with all the giant patch pockets I love). Just look at those incredible long layers up top, the exaggerated turtleneck and impeccable cardigan in the middle, and then the long rib-knit tunic and pants paired with that exceptional pink coat. Nevermind how unwearable those pants are, I want it all. But especially that army sweater-coat.
PREVIOUSLY in Pre-Fall 2017:
Oh hey, what a happy accident! I’d forgotten all about this photo from Vanessa’s blog last year, and just rediscovered it on the heels of Tuesday’s post about funnelnecks and midiskirts. This one, spotted outside the Miu Miu show last March, is more of an upturned turtleneck, which I personally prefer to a funnel, and this proportion is also a bit more wearable for those of you who were concerned about that. To emulate this gem of a sweater, all you need is Julie Hoover’s Veneto pattern, which, if you take away the color-blocking, is the perfect basic.* It’s a classically proportioned, well-shaped, set-in-sleeve pullover, knitted flat and seamed — which means it’s also highly adaptable. To turn it into something more like the sweater above, all you’d need to do is go up one size (for the slouch factor), extend the hem ribbing to more like 3″, continue a few stitches of ribbing up both sides of the front and back, leave a split hem when seaming the sides together, and knit the neckback to your desired turtleneck/funnelneck length. (You might find you want to pick up a few more stitches for the neck, as well — try it and see.) Veneto is written for two strands of lace-weight mYak held double, at a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch, so you could also sub a sport-weight yarn. Ysolda’s Blend No. 1 would be perfection.
Now if only I could help you with that amazing skirt. You can see more pics of both garments in Vanessa’s original post.
*Veneto really should have been in the pullovers installment of Make Your Own Basics — I’ll rectify that.
PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Jenny Gordy’s comfiest cardigan
Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission