Let artful pullovers, cardigans and capes form the foundation of your winter wardrobe, as we look at three ways to wear the season’s most sophisticated knits.
By Natalie Trevis
Its incarnations are infinite, but whether actualised in a coat-like cardigan, mannish jumper or free flowing cape, oversized knitwear is here to stay. Sleeves draped insouciantly over knuckles on the autumn/winter runways, high necklines cozily concealed chins and pockets were functionally voluminous. While colour tones remained strictly equestrian or uniform-like in muted tans or soft creams, Stella McCartney added further intrigue with a giant-sleeved asymmetric knit that enveloped as much as it exposed with its side panel cut outs. Victoria Beckham similarly focused on volume in a puff sleeve that started halfway down the arm: challenging the norm yet never losing that luxe perspective that is her signature. Channel the look all the way to its logical conclusion with a men’s sweater, slim-fit cropped pants and brogues, or adopt a beatnik style a la Alexa Chung in a navy Aran jumper, floral chiffon skirt and sneakers for a weekend look that is equal parts cosy and composed.
Set embellishment free to elevate, inspire and lighten the mood of daytime knitwear. Florals blooming over knitted expanses offer a homespun feel to casual separates and complement the eclectic mood of the collections. Patchwork ponchos by Chloé and intricate bird motifs at Gucci transform knitwear from a reliable staple into a playful talking piece, fit for nights on the town with the season’s pleated metallic skirt or an innocently sheer dress layered underneath.
Every collection needs a show stopping, headline grabbing finale, but sometimes it’s the slow and steady pieces that truly transform the way we dress. The humble cable knit sweater received a youthful makeover for autumn/winter. Executed in pastel shades in jumpers, tunics and dresses – all with mandatory exaggerated sleeve lengths – it offered a palate cleansing simplicity against the backdrop of a season of dark themes, dramatic sequins and everlasting Seventies motifs. With organising principles of comfort and utility, whether tucked into sleek skirts (Altuzarra), worn as a masculine note on top of woven fringing for double the texture (Andrew GN) or tumbling over scalloped-edged culottes (Nina Ricci), the cable knit has well and truly been reclaimed by the runway.