Thursday, 5 August 2010

Knits for now

Knitted fisherman rib cardigan, £45, Topshop

Knits are big news for autumn/winter, as seen on the catwalks of Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs. From chunky sweaters to cashmere cardis, there's a great range of cosy, classy woolies around. It's Val Doonican all the way, with Stella's cardi dress and McQueen's sweater dresses, plus romantic takes like Dior's soft chunky-knit cardigan threaded through with silky blue ribbon. Pair them with silk skirts to great effect, as seen at Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs and Richard Nicoll – another take on cosy glam.

This season lots of designers have also come up with 'cardigowns' – a term coined, I think, by Hush, the masters of fine pyjamas and comfortable lounge wear. A cross between a cardigan and a dressing gown, and even a coat if it's fine, these are the home-worker’s ideal piece of clothing – chuck it over pyjamas and it looks like you got dressed. It's warm yet looks good, especially when spun from the softest of cashmere.

Designers like Nicole Farhi and Pringle always do this look especially well. Farhi’s wool/cashmere tops are an elegant and versatile wardrobe staple, useful with both jeans and dresses. This season, the best versions are ruinously expensive: Rick Owens’ black chunky alpaca cardi (£580) is wonderfully decadent, as is Diane von Furstenberg’s long Chung cardigan in 100% cashmere (£367), an investment piece that will last well for years. Also check out Burberry’s chunky cashmere-blend cardigan and Vivienne Westwood's black version (£412), and the rather more reasonable grey open cardigan by Day Birger and Mikkelson (£139). I like Paul & Joe Sister's cable-knit (£145), too. The ultimate throw-ons are the feather-soft cashmere versions by Irish knitwear designer Lainey Keogh – but, yikes, when we say 'investment piece', we're talking life savings/pension/hefty percentage of salary-type investment.

Turning to the high street, look at Topshop’s fisherman rib cardigan (see top, £45) in very of-the-season camel, or black. The jumper version in blue (£42) would look fantastic with a satin skirt, as would the Vuitton-esque cropped cable jumper. I still think camel's a tough colour to wear, though – it's really just a shade of brown, after all, and for me black wins every time. A classic camel coat's all very well, but unless it's by Celine (see Garance Doré's great blog for proof) it's hard to hanker after something that looks like it's been languishing in your granny's wardrobe for the last few decades, whatever the September issues tell us.

Day Birger and Mikkelson, £139,

1 comment:

  1. Cardigowns sound like my idea of heaven - two all time favourites here too, Farhi and Day Birger. Shall crank up the aircon and indulge ...