x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Katie Trotter: Hooray for the jumper, but quality matters

Slim fitting enough to be flattering and practical in terms of layering, novelty jumpers offer endless possibilities.

This year will go down in fashion history as the year of the jumper. Not just any old jumper, mind you - fashion is never so straightforward. Homage was paid specifically to the Nordic countries, the revival originating on January 22. The source was an unusual one - Sarah Lund, star of the Danish drama The Killing, who hit our screens wearing a classic Scandinavian cream and navy chunky-knit as intricately complex as the plot.

Who would have thought it? An unlikely statement indeed but one that has thoroughly stuck with both fashion editors and designers. (Lund recently told British Vogue she tried to swap the infamous knit for a deep red but it simply wasn't working.) So here we had it, the sudden and unexpected birth of the "It-knit".

We couldn't be more happy with such a sweet, unfussy, straightforward kind of garment. Slim fitting enough to be flattering and practical in terms of layering, novelty jumpers offer endless possibilities for a laid-back aesthetic, and a kind change from most of the horrid contraptions we are expected to wear.

But how do we give the so-called novelty fashions a try without the all-too-familiar "Uncle Creepy" references? Well, in all honesty I can't promise that it won't cost you. If it is cheap motif knits you're after, there are plenty on the high street in faux Fair Isle, Arran and Navajo, but I should inform you now that any mix of acrylic, viscose or nylon is a bad idea. Synthetic knits will lose their shape after no more than three outings, not to mention they go against the entire purpose of the homespun trend.

"Fashion, schmashion!" I hear you baulk - the word "novelty" should not run hand in hand with a big old credit card swoosh, but trust me: when it comes to knitwear it is imperative to invest. In fact, I would prefer you think about a good quality hand-me-down or a charity shop purchase rather than wear something that isn't close to 100 per cent merino wool.

Missoni and Sonia Rykiel, as always when it comes to knitwear, should be your first port of call, but there are also a few unexpected others this season, such as Céline's beautiful novelty knits or Balenciaga's ever wonderfully moulded knitwear. Jil Sander had a great season for reference and Phoebe Philo unveiled a geometric-print sweater inspired by the Seventies that sold faster than hotcakes. Or if you prefer the real thing you can buy the original jumper from Gudrun & Gudrun, for a whopping Dh1,347.

Even if we end up a little like an Ikea advertisement from the late Seventies, any trend that puts some sartorial sparkle into the fashion world gets our vote.



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