Knitwear: From Chanel to Westwood

Yesterday I visited the exhibition Knitwear: From Chanel to Westwood at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam at the last moment as it is closed from today. But have a look at my experience!


The exhibition Knitwear comprises over 150 ‘woolies’ from the famous English collection by Mark and Cleo Butterfield. It covers almost a hundred years of knitting history and includes rare designs exhibited for the first time.

Highlights include Chanel’s exclusive cardigan suits, knitted swimwear from the 1930s, ‘vibrating’ Missoni patterns from various decades, designs by Bill Gibb from the 1970s and later and innovative designs by Vivienne Westwood.

The exhibition also includes crocheted evening dresses by ‘Coco’ Chanel from the 1930s and conceptual designs by Comme des Garçons and Julien MacDonald, as well as technical innovations, from knitting by hand to machine and industrial knitting, and the current renewed attention surrounding the craft.

This exhibition is a collaboration with the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

Here a glimpse of the collection.


Chanel's influence
Chanel's elegant styles of the 1920's, termed poverty the luxe by rival couturier Paul Poiret, influenced a generation of designers.
Chanel's striped and checked jersey twinsets in neutral colours remain understated classics of 1920's modernism.


Chic Crochet
Crochet gained popularity in the 1920's as the boxy shapes it created related to the fashion of the period. A wide range of crocheted dresses, tunics and jackets from the era can be found and were included in many of the craft pattern books.


Glamorous night
Dressing for the evening in the 1920s and 1930s reached a peak of glamour and sophistication, with knitted and crocheted dress, coats and wraps, featuring metallic yarns deco colouring and exotic details.



Fashionable Folk
Designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli introduced folkloric and traditional themes from across Europe into their knitwear.
This trend continued through the 1930s and 1940s and was popular with home knitters as well as fashion companies.




1980s Excess
Designer fashion exploded in 1980s in a mix of high fashion and alternative street based brands. Vivienne Westwood and Comme de Garçons produced influential, highly unique collections that challenged the status quo, while established labels like Zandra Rhodes and Sonia Rykiel, created sophisticated knitwear for the high-end market.
Escada and Krizia were other well-known names producing designer knits.

Sibling London, Diamond Lil, Fair Isle and Leopard outfit, lambswool, AW2012, and hand sequin knit lace Karnaval mask wit DB pom-poms, lambswool
A new era
Designer Julien Macdonald revolutionized knitwear in the 1990s . His virtuoso use of knitting machines and experimental application of unorthodox materials changed the industry's perceptions on knitted garments.
And it is still going on!


My favourite suit of the exhibition!



For more photos of the exhibition visit Patricia Reports!

Text source: Kunsthal Rotterdam
Knitwear: From Chanel to Westwood Knitwear: From Chanel to Westwood Reviewed by Patricia Munster on 9:01:00 AM Rating: 5

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