Autumn/Winter 09 ready to wear collections proved designers to be warm-blooded human beings too, with inspired knitwear to comfort against winter’s icy bite. Knitwear exists as both exciting catwalk constructs and the faithful friend in our wardrobes.
Christpher Kane adorned knits with sparkling jewelled embellishment. Giles also took knitwear out of dreary, rural English farms, adding evening glamour with chiffon and sequins. In contrast to winter’s sombre, muted shades of black, grey and white, a kaleidescopic array of colours was encouraged by others such as Kenzo, where designs draw upon nature at its most beautifully vibrant. The theme was reviewed in Westwood’s ‘urban jungle’, which saw knits with a sense of humour, as ponchos and cardigans were sprawled with loud, brash designs literally inspired by the eight-year-old eco-warriors in the front row of the show, consulted during a primary school visit during the conception stage of her ideas.
Sinha Stanic also presented atypical winter colours of orange and pink for their knitwear pieces, with bold, 80s geometric sweater dresses tapping into sportswear trends, as well as cute jumpers which added cosy texture to bubble skirts.
Knitwear was delivered as luxurious, simple, high-quality investment pieces at Missoni, where notions of pattern were played down to let the colour and the classic shape speak for themselves.
Elsewhere, Chanel dressed the grown-ups in adorable cardies that complimented Chanel’s stellar tweed, representing a prevailing traditional conservatism that rejects sporadic nonsensical trends. This idea was also evident at Jil Sander’s show, which featured intelligently structured, architectural fine-knit dresses with dramatic funnel necks. Dolce and Gabana’s knitwear appeared in twin-set form on tartan queens, balancing messy, eclectic, layered folkism with fur, florals, paisley, and bells.
Paisley was also a partner to Hermès’ knit pieces, which were attuned to a 70s vibe in autumnal colours and dynamic, dramatic shapes to create kinetic fluid movement; accessories were not neglected, as models were snuggled in hats and scarves.
Even the highstreet has joined the celebration, offering a plethora of choice from bags to belts, and soft cashmere. There really is no excuse to be without: you do not have to sacrifice your imagination to stay warm.