Designer Knitwear at mytheresa.com: Have you heard of Hoik?
Knitwear is the very heart and soul of our wardrobes. We’re not talking about tea, scones and a spot of knitting – as lovely as that sounds – but we are discussing one of the most quintessential elements of fashion design. Designer knitwear, just like woven, is about shaping fabric to create silhouettes that change, define, or exemplify the body. Knitwear was the invention of stretch, which, as absolutely anybody who wears clothes understands, was also the invention of a better fit. From your humble white T-shirt, to your thickest woollen knitted sweater, to that silk knit dress that hangs with grace, luxury knitwear was a wonderful solution for ready-to-wear with an haute couture style fit.
Scottish knitwear. Founders, farmers, weavers and knitters of incomparably high quality textiles from Scottish border towns like Harwick (pronounced 'Hoik' if you’re very Scottish) have continued, if with somewhat difficulty, in tradition. Chanel protected this heritage by purchasing Barrie, one of Scotland's finest and most historic mills. What was also born out of this mutual solution was Barrie the knitwear label, a ladies knitwear house and a textile mill with one of the highest quality levels in the world.
Modernity and the cashmere sweater
An unusual heading if you think about how long 'tradition' has been glued to the idea of a cashmere sweater. Labels like Acne Studios have taken responsibility for changing the face of women's knitwear. Consistently, Acne has created silhouettes that break outdated cashmere knitwear clichés, replacing them with functional everyday clothing for modern women. Burberry fuses its house heritage with forward thinking, both in how they deliver clothing seasonally, and stylistically. Our personal Burberry loves are the large cashmere blankets, boldly printed, wonderful throw-on-and-run-out-the-door solutions to less-than-desirable weather. Barrie changes the cashmere cardigan by playfully exposing the back and Labels like Valentino or The Row create knit sheaths that hang from only a part of the body, leaving space for a lot of experimental layering.
Off the golf course, onto the right course
Like silhouettes, knits have changed and developed in the way we prefer to wear them. Our obsession with clashing textures has pushed us to try new combinations, and knitwear designers have responded by experimenting with new fibres, the result wild and exciting. Isabel Marant uses Japanese knit experts to create large sculptural shapes, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen works with close knits to create voluminous structures – the list of designers experimenting with knitwear goes on. Texture is always key, a fur dress can be found with a metallic knitted cape, and a loose knit jacket can be found with a patent leather dress. The wilder the concept, the more excited we are to wear it. That’s not to say we have abandoned the classics, this season’s geek-chic revolution has also re-ignited our love for the preppy all-American style, and who else comes to mind than Polo Ralph Lauren knitwear?? The classic cable-knit sweater and A-line skirt combination has left the golf course and turned into something a little more runway chic.
For now and forever
One of the little-mentioned niceties of wearing luxurious natural fibres, wool and cashmere, is how sustainable it is, both in its growing and manufacturing but even more importantly, its durability and longevity. If you sort through your wardrobe, it’s often the good quality knitwear you've invested in that is worn the most and kept the longest. Cashmere knitwear has always been an appreciated value, and the loving care you give to it, shampooing by hand, lying flat to dry and avoiding rose bushes or barbed wire fences, all add up to keeping your most loved pieces longer. Some of these passed-down traditions don’t need to be modernised because taking care is always in fashion. The same attitude that has created your luxury knitwear, from the precision of textile mills to the innovation and creativity by designers, to the buyers who make the selections (that’s us). So the next time you’re in the market for new knitwear think about quality, fibre, cut and manufacturing or just look to mytheresa.com because we've done our homework.