Cool Knits Add Pizzazz to Spring O

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2011 Spring Fashion Forecast
Cool Knits
©Brian Buckley
Add Pizzazz
to Spring
by Eleonora Natili
nce again, it is time to update
your spring/summer wardrobe,
and the exciting new knitwear
trends presented by leading design houses
in New York, Milan, and Paris are a great
place to look for inspiration.
jacquards were show-stoppers at
Mercedes–Benz Fashion Week in New
York. Or you might try your hand at
sweaters that casually wrap and tie around
the waist, a look favored by iconic
Milanese designer Miuccia Prada.
Keeping the market abuzz right now is
the emphatic return to more feminine
dressing, which means less emphasis on
mannish styles (as well as on over-the-top
girlie looks). Whether they work or are
The easy tunic that subtly hints at the
figure is another smart knitwear choice.
Throughout the years, tunics have
become classic favorites, for they not only
flatter most figures with their slimming
lines, but they also adapt beautifully to all
Streamlined cardigan in
crochet-like texture
stay-at-home moms, women today want
clothes that fit with their busy lifestyles,
and designers have gotten the message
and are delivering the goods.
Cool, streamlined silhouettes are what
this year’s spring knitwear collections are
all about. Although it’s nearly impossible
to discern a singular focus for each collection, designers generally prefer a look of
unstudied femininity and simplicity—what
Italians like to call “throwaway chic.”
Lean and lanky cardigan with
drawstring detailing
12 KNIT ‘n STYLE • April 2011
To begin with, this season’s smartest
sweaters come in a bevy of flattering
shapes and styles. If your taste runs to
curvy, figure-emphasizing lines, you might
follow the example of Marc Jacobs, whose
1970’s inspired knits in eye-riveting
rib knit Button Wrap
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If your taste runs to more ample silhouettes, why not opt for a bubble-shape
blouson with full kimono sleeves and deep
bands of ribbing? Blouson jackets were
seen on fashion runways everywhere, and
they look especially smart when paired
with cigarette-slim trousers or shapely
sheath skirts.
Knits that artfully drape, twist, and tie
with a strong Grecian vibe are another pivotal look. Best interpreted in supple jerseys, these convertible knits can be worked
that lower or raise lengths for a do-ityourself approach to dressing.
Pretty lingerie touches also make waves
this spring. Why not finish a garment with
a perky floral corsage or border a sweater
with a flirty band of ruffles? Or you might
fasten a lacy cardigan with a silk or grosgrain ribbon, an extremely feminine look
reminiscent of a bed jacket.
Colorful patterns add lively dimension to
today’s streamlined knits. Current preferences include fresh florals, giant polka
dots, art deco geometrics, and fanciful sailing motifs. For added punch, some patterns are positioned front and center on
garments, a detail that in no uncertain
terms says, “Look at me.”
Shawl-collar vest
with ruffled borders
Those tried-and-true classics, stripes, are
also quite popular. The newest approach is
to run stripes diagonally rather than horizontally for a more slimming effect. Bold
chevrons——the hallmarks of Missoni collections—are also seasonal favorites that
never seem to go out of style.
into a variety of styles, ranging from handsome capes and shawls to one-of-a-kind
tops. “Why settle for one look when you
can create several looks from one garment?” says Ric Fowler, owner of Rico
Hand Knits, a company that specializes in
these multi-purpose designs. The Pure
HANDKNIT line is also on the same wavelength; their signature piece, the Button
Wrap, can be worn in five distinctive ways,
making it a versatile addition to any
woman’s wardrobe.
Skirts are also enjoying a dramatic shift
in silhouette. After many seasons of short,
tight minis that left little to the imagination, today’s smart lengths stop anywhere
from below the knee to the ankle.
Trendsetting designers, as well as the fashion media, are generally enthusiastic about
the longer lengths, which they refer to as
young and fresh.
Lacy bare-midriff sweater and
sheath skirt
Along with the sweeping new shift in silhouette, spring knits are notable for their
new take on detailing. In visual terms, this
means cool halter necklines, asymmetric
one-shoulder treatments, and intricate
cutouts that resemble latticework on
bodices. Also be on the lookout for zip closures instead of buttons, a detail that adds
a sporty feel to garments, and drawstrings
Versatile drape-and-tie
jersey design
KNIT ‘n STYLE • April 2011 13