Knitwear is back and it’s taking centre stage. Oversized, bold colours and big textures. This season, knitwear is daywear, eveningwear and outerwear.
n the runways Alexander Wang displayed some of the most desirable knitwear of the season: chunky wool sweaters fused with silk slips, and slouchy angora jumpers layered over long satin dresses. Dressing up to go out on a cold winter’s night has rarely looked so appealing. Elsewhere, knitwear stalwarts Pringle of Scotland played on their heritage with herringbone, tweed and Fair Isle knits. Classic patterns were brought-up-to-date by adding contrasting texture with leather, fur and tassels. Experts at making knitwear, Pringle showed knitted coats and capes, skirts and dresses, and even matching wrist warmers. A new generation of Nordic designers are taking the lessons learnt from their ancestors and moving in very different and striking directions. EYGLO is the cute and quirky label of Reykjavik based designer Eygló Margrét Lárusdottir. Her chunky, wide-neck Icelandic knits have the appeal of wearing your boyfriend’s jumper, but the torneffect front adds a playful, teasing element, which has become typical of the Eyglo look. For a timeless hand-knit, look no further than Swedish brand Bergman’s who have been producing organic cotton products since 1986. They are part of The Eco Cotton Co. - one of the world’s largest suppliers of organic cotton that accounts for 57% of all of the organic cotton grown in Latin America. German/Icelandic duo Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason founded their London based brand Ostwald Helgason in 2008. Their AW11 collection features dip-dyed Dagmar mohair jumpers in their signature edgy style, which has captured the attention of fashion heavyweights.
The Statement Knits
Their collection has recently been bought by Browns and is available online now. Lina Osterman - a London-based Swedish designer - established her eponymous second line in 2008 after graduating from Central St. Martins. Her first line is unisex brand Pudel, which was founded in 2005. Rich jewel colours are moving in to replace summer’s brights this season and Osterman’s turquoise cardigan featuring typical Osterman edginess is making a statement while being unexpectedly versatile. Swedish designer Nina Jarebrink offered up an oversized mohair v-neck jumper in her signature elegant-sexy style. Jarebrink’s first success came with her unique jewellery collection in 2005 but today her distinctive knitwear is the main essence of her design. For the ultimate statement knitwear look to Helsinki-based designer Saara Leopkorpi. Her multitextured chunky knit with winding colour blocks of jade green and storm grey reflects the dualities that often mark her work. Leopkorpi describes the contrasts in her work as ‘a marriage between the powerful, statemental and colourful tradition set by Finnish fashion pioneers in the 1960’s (Marimekko, Vuokko Nurmesniemi), and the sombre, Eastern-European state of mind Finns are known for’. Saara Leopkorpi’s line is produced inhouse at her studio in Helsinki. Dagmar’s edgy sheepskin-look knit with leather sleeves adds value to the humble cardigan in a modern and timeless way making this a real investment piece. House of Dagmar was established by three Swedish sisters for who safeguarding craftsmanship and valued traditions are important elements of the design process. Unconventional and sophisticated, many of the garments are hand-knitted or have hand-made Saara Lepokorpi details.
by Nicola Thornley
Published on Oct 24, 2011