Thursday, 17 March 2011

unrivaled unravel

MoMu's poster, © photo by Craig McDean, styling by Panos Yiapanis
As you may have noticed I always loved knitting 
and knitwear never looking at it as old-fashioned 
or frumpy, quite the contrary, considering knitwear 
extremely versatile yet safe and snug.
I can scarcely imagine winter without knits!

Jean Patou's swimsuit, 1928 via
 So when I saw again the amazing image of most-liked
actress Tilda Swinton wearing my fave knitwear designer
Sandra Backlund on Antwerp's MoMu Fashion Museum
“Unravel” exhibition poster I was suddenly nuts.

Elsa Schiaparelli's bathing suit, 1928 © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis
The first-rate image was taken by well-known photographer
Craig McDean with stylist Panos Yiapanis a couple of years
back for AnOther magazine and it's perfect for the Belgian
fashion capital city's show with its sculptured 4-piece dress.

John Carr Doughtly, 1966 © London College of Fashion/AWI ltd
The just opened “Unravel: Knitwear in Fashion” exhibition
curated by Karen Van Godtsenhoven and Emmanuelle Dirix
will run until April the 8th addressing the important decades
of knitwear's popularity both on and off the catwalk with a focus
on high fashion pieces and their vernacular interpretations.

Benetton's, supplied picture
Maison Martin Margiela AW08-09, photo © Giovanni Giannoni
A wide variety of tricot clothings and accessories from all over
the world revealing both the creative and the manufacturing
side of knitwear with breathtaking pieces from pioneer
designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel and
Jean Patou together with established designers and labels
like Anne Salens, Vivienne Westwood, Sonia Rykiel, Missoni,
Maison Martin Margiela, Azzedine Alaïa, Benetton and Comme
de Garçons and talented neophytes including Sandra Backlund,
Mark Fast, Kevin Kramp, Craig Lawrence, Christian Wijnants.

Azzedine Alaïa's ajouré top, photo by Marc Gysin
Christian Wijnants AW08-09 photo © Viviane Sassen
The exhibition cleverly examines the interplay linking
'high' and 'low' fashion e.g. exploring the to and fro into
fashion of the Fair Isle motif (the traditional multicolored  
geometric pattern of Shetland Islands) or the occasionally
jocular relation between knitwear and the manly sense 
of elegance like the infamous Starsky's belted cardigan 
from the 70's 'Starsky & Hutch' tv serial.

Starsky & Hutch (Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul)
Mark Fast's AW11 collection, photos by firstVIEW
Kevin Kramp's, 2009 photo by Carlo Mendis/ACM + Kevin Kramp
I believe knitwear's richness will never go out of style and
this can be easily seen through the works of emerging
designers who are able to explore new techniques, materials
and shapes almost without the use of synthetic fabrics.
Apart from the young designers involved in the MoMu's
exhibition I think the future also belongs to gifted newcomers
such as Johan Ku, Nathalie Fordeyn, Derel Lawlor, Phuong
Thuy Nguyen and Irina Shaposhnikova just to name the
ones I've been reporting on last summer.

Nathalie Fordeyn's, photo by Etienne Tordoir/


  1. knit baby knit!!! Love this post!!!!!

  2. I am with you! Would love to see this exhibition.