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27 June 2011

Schiaparelli Bow Knot Sweater, with variations.... The famous designer Elsa Schiaparelli designed a sweater back in the 1920s that may be one of the most iconic sweater designs in history. [More:]Prior to the 1920s collars and cuffs were generally items that were separate from the garments they were worn with. Men pinned collars and cuffs on their shirts and women pinned collars and cuffs on to their blouses, sweaters, dresses etc. When Schiparelli designed a black sweater with an ivory bow and collar and cuffs knitted into the design, it was something completely original and witty and daring and all the rage. But then this was the designer who got other women to wear a shoe on their heads and think of it as a "smart hat".

I'd been wanting to knit one for myself for years. But I adapted the pattern considerably. I look terrible in black, and when I visited the yarn store and looked at all the colours available in the right weight, I ended up going with a burnt orange. This is less a leap than it might seem. It's possible to buy a kit to make the bow knot sweater in shocking pink, which was Schiaparelli's signature colour. I also didn't use the stranded technique to knit this sweater, but instead used intarsia, since the yarn I use has a tweedy texture that gave the sweater the speckled look of the stranded original. Then the sweater's twenties' style shaping wouldn't work on my figure (too long and too narrow), so I sized and shaped it the way I knit all my sweaters, with waist shaping and a slightly lower, more open neckline. I did use the chart, of course, and I think the result is still very recognizably a Schiaparelli Bow Knot sweater.... done Orange Swan style.
Adorable! I wish I could just make clothes. That's like a superpower to me.
posted by JoanArkham 27 June | 09:58
I always wondered where they came up with the idea for Katherine Helmond's hats in the movie Brazil, but never knew it was a throwback to an actual hat! Too cool.
posted by BoringPostcards 27 June | 10:49
Ooooh, spiffy. Looks good in orange, yeah!
posted by galadriel 27 June | 11:29
Love it in the burnt orange! Very nicely knitted. Colorwork is one of my goals for this year; yours looks so neat!
posted by Sil 27 June | 12:30
I love this. Nice work.
posted by theora55 27 June | 14:38
I got so distracted by the shoe-hat this morning, I didn't even realize you'd MADE the orange version of the sweater, Swan- WOW. Very impressive.
posted by BoringPostcards 27 June | 15:19
Sexism in vintage ads. || I'm in the awkward position of being able to briefly interview a potential boss.