Knitwear to know now

20 October 2016

by Isabelle Ohnemus

Knitwear to know now

Photo: Shall We Knit/Tumbler

The temperatures are dropping so the knitwear trends are heating up.

Best of AW16 Knitwear

Gothic black-on-black texture was seen at Alexander Wang who combined casual and formal silhouettes. The luxurious yet tough collection ensured urban styling was at the fore. The knitwear offering included classic items from the V-neck sweater to the cable crew; both were given a new season update thanks to studs and embellishment. Also seen across the collection were ball bearings and diamanté, plus leather and wool textures layered in matte and shine contrasts across both short and midi skirt lengths.

Alexander Wang/ AW16

Photo: Alexander Wang/ AW16 

At Sportmax, soft yarns and a cocooning silhouette presented relaxed luxury. Volume was exaggerated through the sleeve and cuffs with rounded cocoon silhouettes and off-the-shoulder necklines. The collection made a strong statement with pared-back yet impactful shapes the focus. When it came to the decoration, floral motifs, slanted hemlines and fringing were all included in a fresh but restrained palette of black, white, lemon and sand.

Sportmax/ AW16

Photo: Sportmax/ AW16 

Evolving from the brand’s Pre-Fall collection (that explored oversized proportions and layering), unstructured silhouettes remained key at Joseph. The looks were all presented in a restrained palette of ecru, black, grey and pale camel; they experimented with textural elements such as patchwork cables and ladder stitches, whilst wrapped and draped forms created asymmetric looks.

Key Details

Graphic checks are big for now. On knitwear, classic checks are reworked for a graphic, crisp look, which is particularly relevant for the young fashion-led market. Roll-necks, slim-fitting crew necks and sweatshirts feature tartan checks in bright colours as well as up-scaled windowpane checks. Materials range from key synthetic blends, smooth cotton and merino.

Markus Lupfer/ AW16

Photo: Markus Lupfer/ AW16 

Lustrous metallics are also popular with luxe, reflective yarns blurring the boundary between day and night dressing. Vests, crew styles and sporty joggers feel appropriate for the night, especially when combined with sheer fabrics, galactic print effects and fancy tinsel references. The metallic tones are pushed through a colour palette of black, gold, deep purple and inky blue.

Valentino/ AW16

Photo: Valentino/ AW16 

Decorative motifs, particularly floral, and embroidery are a key message for the season. Highlighted by the Folk Flora trend, this direction is a more youthful evolution from the trend of AW15. Blooms on dark grounds will serve you well throughout winter (especially crew neck styles in synthetic blends and wool with stylised florals.

Key Items – Womenswear

The long tunic is in. Continuing to evolve as a core piece, the oversized tunic taps into the grunge and urban streets looks and works as both a layering piece or a dress. For now, bold intarsia motifs and technical yarns provide a graphic, youthful update. The item also has a voluminous feel with exaggerated proportions thanks to an elongated body and drop shoulders.

Diane von Furstenberg/ AW16

Photo: Diane von Furstenberg/ AW16 

A silhouette adapted for every look, the trapeze and A-line sweaters continue to update crew and mock neck styles. The longer shape is given feminine edge, layered over fluid satin and chiffon skirts, in luxurious yarns. A newer version of this style sees a rounded drop-shoulder shape, with a cocooning aspect in long sleeves and textured stitch interest.

Sally La Pointe/ AW16

Photo: Sally La Pointe/ AW16 

For the luxury and premium market, the fit and flare dress has been updated to work across a variety of looks from sportif looks to 1970s bohemia via contemporary. For a more youthful feel, bright chevrons and candy stripes add a fun energy. In contrast, a minimalist style feels fresh with a sportif element provided by ultrafine viscose yarns and rib stitches.

Key Items – Menswear

Say hello to the coatigan. Taking on a more robust character for autumn, the elongated cardigan is the heavy knitted outerwear top choice. With a shawl collar, rounded edge-to-edge, as well as dropped-shoulder knits, designers take inspiration from 90s grunge. A woven look, stripes and laddering stitches create a causal urban feel in alpaca, lofty wool and mohair blend.

Bottega Veneta/ AW16

Photo: Bottega Veneta/ AW16 

The crew knit sweater remains a wardrobe staple. This season sees it updated with heavy-gauge cable knits featuring texture-block details. Chunky marl yarns and flea-bitten hems create a homespun feel on the classic piece, the perennial appeal ensuring it continues as an essential piece for the AW commercial markets.

Gucci/ AW16

Photo: Gucci/ AW16 

Next up is the elongated sweater that has an overgrown-look appeal. Wear to add instant statement to layered looks. Sweeping down to just above the knees, hems go lower, whilst sleeve lengths are also extended, outstretched past the hands. Pattern and stitch variations such as blanket-inspired intarsias, textured ribs, lattice stitching and hand-applied tape yarns add an elevated, homespun aesthetic.

Trend Alert

First up, grunge knitwear. The overarching theme isn’t going anywhere, especially when it comes to menswear. Providing a dominant look, the trend is all about an oversized silhouette with large cardigans for a casual, slouchy aesthetic plus long tunic style crew necks. Whilst shorts take on a sportier feel for a young streetwear look, slim trousers and leggings balance the loose artisanal feel of oversized proportions.

Topman Design/ AW16

Photo: Topman Design/ AW16 

Animal effects are back. Leopard print becomes an important message for men’s knitwear this AW16. Think natural leopard, space-dye effects and irregular striping. Colours such as brown, ochre and black present a worn feel in matted and brushed textures. As an alternative, a punk-inspired mood is achieved with brighter hues of electric blue and teal.

Christopher Kane/ AW16

Photo: Christopher Kane/ AW16 

In fact, day glo brights are creating their own micro-trend this season and work well as a transseasonal update. Inject bright and neon tones into your wardrobe with yellow, red, blue and fuchsia brights or neons, contrasted by black to grey hues. Mohair, wool and synthetic blends are seen across collections, offering soft tactile effects, and are admired in intarsia motifs, bold checks or leopard markings.

Wrap up and layer on.