The brain is a marvelous stash too, right? I recycled a lot of memories when I was working on Vintage Fashion Knitwear, just released last month. This fabulous coffee-table collectible book traces the development of hand- and machine-knits through the past 100 years and is heavily illustrated with delicious (and iconic) fashion photography. It’s a decadent indulgence; you can’t stop after just one page. I’ll share a few spreads in today’s post; if you find it irresistible, come back during Thanksgiving week for a great giveaway.
The book is organized by decades, and some of my favorite chapters are those that conjured up specific images from my life. As a little girl, I was so inspired by the whole swingin’ 60s fashion scene that I drew paper dolls day in and day out; I was fascinated by Twiggy and London’s Carnaby Street. When my grandmother bought me a wool pants suit from some little shop there when she was on a tour of Europe, I was thrilled.
By the time the 70s rolled around, I was making many of my own clothes (I shiver to think much polyester double-knit I must have worn) so I could be trendy in a frugal manner. Later in the decade, all of us little hippie chicks started wearing lots of Missoni-inspired skin-tight knit tops with our very low-slung jeans. Although I admit there are some things about the 80s I’d just as soon forget (shoulder pads, for instance, and a certain pair of red pumps), the images from that self-indulgent decade also chronicle the rise of the supermodel, featuring photos of Jerry Hall and Christy Turlington, among others; bad girl Naomi Campbell appears in the book as well.
From early innovator Coco Chanel* to late great Alexander McQueen, memorable pieces from all the famous houses are included in Vintage Fashion Knitwear too. It’s the perfect holiday gift for the knitter or fashionista in your life.
*To see how Chanel’s pioneering use of knitwear in the 1920s has been channeled in the house’s Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear show, check out looks 13 and 33.