Musings on Men’s Fashion – What happened to knitwear?!

Ok, so the season of cleaning has begun, which includes ditching that awful winter wear that somehow made it into your closet. (We won’t judge – just burn that sweater already.) Frankly, it’s not your fault: It seems that designers recently have turned to favor the more “unusual” knitwear, with D&G fronting their winter 2010 campaign with a collection of Fair Isle knits, and their signature “nana knit”.

Just to demonstrate how bad knitwear can get, here are a list of the ugliest pieces of knitwear straight from the catwalk, as well as even uglier knitwear lurking on the web! And who better to kick start the list than Henry Holland? Famous for his 80’s prints and graphic tee’s, his recent successes include a collaboration with major tights brand Pretty Polly, he has also landed himself a range in department store Debenhams, and with Agnes Deyn fronting his campaign, who can deny his authority amongst the fashion elite? His cardigan is still ugly…

Another up and coming UK designer James Long, is famous for his signature leather and knitwear pieces. His summer 2010 collection drew inspiration from quality street wrappers, combined with some leather and select pieces of knitwear. Uh, no dice, that’s like combining baby formula and vodka.

To add to his strange collections, James Long’s A/W 2011 showed a continuation of the knitwear theme. He drew inspiration from, “mayhem, forests and fog horizons” – we say he drew inspiration from Kermit the frog.

Sibling of London, an all male fashion trio are hot property on the London fashion scene having worked with Alexandar McQueen, Giles Deacon and Lanvin to name a few. They produce “innovative knitwear designs” in “zingy” colors, inclulding a Bet Lynch inspired leopard jumper. I don’t even want to touch that one.

It seems that more commonly known designers are also committing knitwear crimes, Diesel describe one of its latest creations as having a contrast asymmetric woven pattern to the chest, chunky ribbed trim with a stripe design. What a description, I’ll never buy it now!

The bad knitwear crime doesn’t just stop at jumpers, it also extends to cardigan crime, with this “Humor” (aptly named) multi colored cardigan, featuring a bright colored Fair Isle knit to the shoulders, a ribbed shawl collar, patch pockets to the front and a button fastening. Clown cardigan?

To add to all the cardigan crime, Junk De Lux offers a “Aztec” print cardigan. Not quite as loud and bright as the Humor design, but equally clashing, the cream, navy and brown wool mix knitted cardigan features a narrow shawl neck ribbed collar, a button through fastening and pockets to the front… just in case you want to dress like Grandpa.

It seems that the demand for hideous knitwear is ever increasing, with online stores dedicated to the sale of pre owned knitwear crimes. Check out these two hand-me-downs, one would be great as an overly fancy bee costume and the other a gift for a (clueless) golf fanatic:

So, it seems there are plenty of options out there for the novelty knitwear lover, to channel such a stupid trend. You never know, you may follow in the footsteps of the Clancy brothers, and your notwear knitwear may become a hit! (Yeah, right.)

In conclusion, it seems knitwear doesn’t always have to be plain and conservative… but sometimes it’s better that way. If any of the above don’t take your fancy then check out the designer knitwear range at John Smedley. Pick out a good old fashioned merino wool sweater and play it safe!

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