Thursday, 13 November 2014

Natty Knits

Another exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum can only mean one thing... another day out in London for me and Gill.
 
 
This time we went to see "Knitwear - Chanel to Westwood". Although there was at least one original Chanel jacket and another Westwood sweater, the exhibition was mostly an eclectic mix of knitwear from the private collection of Mark and Cleo Butterworth, collectors of antique and vintage clothing and there were as many domestic hand knitted items as there were designer pieces.

 
Items on display ranged from knitted sportswear such as golfing jackets from the 1920s through to some pretty amazing swimwear. Does anyone remember having to wear a knitted swimsuit?

 
There were also some wonderful fairisle tank tops and lovely examples of multi-coloured handknits from the war years, knitted from unravelled sweaters in true make do and mend style. As well as knitted garments there were crochet dresses too. I may not have worn a knitted swimsuit but I did have a mini crochet jacket similar to Twiggy's!

 
It got Gill and I reminiscing how we both also had knitted suits in the days back when, and so this evening I had a rummage through some old photos and this is what I found... me aged 24 looking positively middle aged in the most revolting pink boucle knitted two piece!

 
As with every other exhibition we have ever seen at this gem of a museum, it was brilliant - well staged and well thought out with the added bonus of a wonderful free guided tour, something that takes place every Wednesday lunchtime and now Fridays too I believe. We always come away from exhibitions here feeling inspired to go home and create. Gill has a yearning to try fairisle, we both fancy digging out some vintage patterns... but I don't think either of us will be sporting knitted suits anytime soon!

14 comments:

  1. Been planning to visit that exhibition. Love it when seeing an exhibition, inspires you to come home & make/do something. You look lovely in the knitted dress. We all have those "should I have worn that photos?". I look at my kids & hope one day, they'll be thinking the same. Quick question, could you take photos in the exhibition?

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a small child I had a (passed down to me!) skirt and top outfit that were either knitted or crocheted in alternating stripes of bright orange and brown!! Apparently I loved it!!! I don't think that I will be wearing any knitted items any time soon other than cardigans and jumpers! xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah that looks a brilliant exhibition, you are so lucky to live within travelling distance of these wonderful exhibitions !
    If I remember correctly knitted suits were very 'in' in the '80's!
    V x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love it - what on earth possessed us! Anyway, it's prompted me to actually post, I'm going to post my awful pic too! x

    ReplyDelete
  5. It was a fab exhibition - what an amazing personal collection it was. The mod stuff was interesting - and a little nostalgic - but it was the make do and mend items that really blew me away. Such creativity in the face of austerity.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember knitted suits in the late 70s, they were fine until you had been sitting down for a long time and the skirts would bulge and droop, not a good look.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can remember my knitted swimsuit when I was about 7 years old. I had to pull it out of the pool with me as I got out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. No knitted swimsuit, but I do remember some hand knitted fairisle jumpers when I was about 6.I'm not sure now who had knitted them and I don't think I was the first to wear them - probably my sister had them before me!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The less said about those knitted swimsuits, the better I think! Looks a great exhibition and I think that Twiggy crocheted suit wouldn't look out of place these days, but what a lot of patience needed to make one. As for fair isle... Gill is welcome to try that. Not for the fainthearted... or me for that matter

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember wearing knitted dresses and two piece suits. I thought I looked so grown up, how funny x

    ReplyDelete
  11. lol - that brought up some knitting memories for me too Gina. I've got a 6d man's fairisle slipover pattern that I found in the loft the other day. 2 ply yarn. it looked fab when finished! love the knitted suit!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Still very keen to learn how to do fair isle, but think I'll steer clear of knitted suits and swimsuits! xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. You're toooo funny! I love your middle-aged photo -- how brave to wear a knitted suit! It looks like a fantastic exhibition!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I remember my mum unravelling woollies to make something new out of them. They knew how to recycle in those days!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!