I’m sure this trend has not escaped your attention. I’d hoped it was a flash in the pan but the ‘animal motif’ sweater seems to be here to stay, well at least for Autumn/Winter 2012. Undoubtedly, the design to lead this movement seems to have come from Burberry Prorsum with a ‘long eared OWL’ taking centre stage! Interestingly priced at £795 you’d be forgiven for thinking it comes with a real owl or at least was knitted with the soft downy feathers of one!
Mulberry & Sonia by Sonia Rykiel have gone for tigers; Markus Lupfer, a cat; Whistles an ‘Antelope’, and quite possibly the cutest is from Monsoon which is a Squirrel, resplendent in sequins (shame it wasn’t a red one)
I can’t help thinking of the brand that made its name from novelty intarsia sweaters (Ballantyne Cashmere) and that they should be doing a roaring trade right now. Perhaps a trip through their archives might not be a bad investment of their time considering this current trend. I remember cute kittens playing with balls of wools, cleverly concealed in the pockets and horses with all their livery and all manner of flowers and breeds of dog. The craftsmanship was undeniable and the artistry mindboggling with each of the dozens of colours used, laid individually in a hand framed process, all from a little factory in the Scottish Borders. Intarsia was a speciality of Ballantyne’s, and they did it really well.
True fashionistas will be scouring the antique markets and vintage stores as undoubtedly the originals are still the best.
As for me, no matter how strong this trend seems, I can only muster an enthusiasm for the technique itself and not the actual sweaters. I admire the work involved, especially if it is by hand and in a luxury fibre, but I know I couldn’t carry them off.