Everyone loves a knit. From thin-knit turtlenecks to thick homemade Christmas jumpers, knitwear is the gift that keeps on giving in the colder months. This year especially, the abundance of knitwear on the market is evident – maybe thanks to the growing environmental reminders to turn down our heating, or the fact that we may not even have any to turn down during the winter months.
Many took up knitting as a lockdown project, birthing a whole host of emerging design talent, whilst big brands continue to deliver on their own knit fronts. This season especially, designers are leaning into a comfort-first approach to autumn/winter dressing. On the runways we saw everything from extra thick yarns to skintight, mesh-like knits; along with capes, arm warmers and sweater vests.
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After more than 18 months of working from home, we’re not mad at it. And, more recently, colourblock knitwear has taken hold: Harry Styles’ now-viral patchwork JW Anderson cardigan hit the heights of virality last year and has since spawned thousands of copies (the tag #HarryStylesCardigan on TikTok has been viewed more than 84,700,000 times), including by Tom Daley who was spotted knitting in his breaks from diving at the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Bottega Veneta are a brand known for their knits: championing clingy knitted co-ords and, in their recent showing in Detroit, acid chartreuse knits on the runway. These featured contrast piping and stripes in a nod to the city’s vibrant techno scene. Other designers such as Grace Wales Bonner work knits into most collections, showcasing updated grandad chic with the array of knitted tops and tracksuit sets.
This year, though, knits are chunkier than ever. Queen of chunky knits, designer Hope Macaulay has become known for her ‘colossal knits’ series: a group of jackets made using extra thick yarn. These chunky, extra oversized knits take sweater weather to a whole new level, and come in pastel shades. The Northern Irish designer’s knits have taken Instagram by storm, being spotted on Gigi Hadid and even gracing the cover of GQ.
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Another emerging talent in the chunky knit field is elusive brand SC103. Made up of New York duo Sophie and Claire, a two piece by the brand was worn by Kylie Jenner on the cover of TMRW magazine catapulted the brand to new heights. They place a clear emphasis on sustainability, too: almost the entire collection is made from deadstock or upcycled scraps, with Sophie hand-knitting wisps of leather leftover from their popular linked bags into a sporty, varsity-style vest for a piece shown at the Met.
With sweater weather well and truly upon us, it’s clear that knitwear designers are about to come into their own, and full knit-drobes are about to become a thing.