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Hello, everyone! And a very belated, but still hearty, Happy New Year! Yes, 2013 is already 9 days old, but better late than never, right?

And how’s this for my first post of the New Year – the unveiling of my latest design for the Spring 2013 issue of Knitscene Magazine!

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(all photos copyright of, and courtesy of, Interweave)

Meet the Patou Tunic, named in honor of the great French fashion designer of the 1910’s-1920’s, Jean Patou. Monsieur Patou was one of the pioneers of the classic “flapper” style that we equate with clothing of that decade: the loose, flowing, “natural and comfortable” shape that was about women leading modern, independent lives, and not about restrictive clothing that reflected restrictive attitudes about women.

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I created this design after reviewing the mood boards created specifically for the Spring issue. With the recent, and dramatic, rise in popularity of fashions from this era (see, e.g., the costumes of Downton Abbey and the upcoming Great Gatsby movie, and the recent couture collections of Ralph Lauren), the editors chose a “flapper” theme for one of the magazine stories. As with some of my most satisfying design experiences, an idea sprung almost fully formed into my head: a tunic, loose and flowing, with a bit of featured lace on the front as a nod to the confident femininity of the era. Next thing you know, I’m knitting the pictured sample in an antique linen-esque colorway of Madelinetosh Pashmina, during the height of last summer’s heat!

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To be true to the inspiration and clothing of the era, the shaping in this garment is minimal – it’s meant to be oversized. It can be worn as shown, as a dress, or over leggings if the weather hasn’t reached a balmy level yet. And the knitting is simple too; worked in the round to the armholes, the length of this garment will fly off the needles! The neck shaping is simple and wide, to show off the curve of the neck and shoulder, and the sleeves are also generously cut, to allow maximum comfort and movement in the tunic.

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I was thrilled to work with the fantastic folks at Knitscene again, and I was equally thrilled when I saw these pre-release photos. I LOVE the styling that they’ve shown here. The dramatic, almost-even-a-bit sinister, makeup on the model is an effective foil to the soft neutral fabric that she’s sporting. I promise you that the other stories in this issue show equally inspired and chic styling. Best of all, the issues hit newsstands on January 22nd – how’s that for a birthday gift to me? 😉

So there you have it – out with the old 2012 and in with the new 2013, in all its fresh glory. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but something I read recently did resonate with me and I hope it will for all of you, too. I don’t quite remember who said it or where I read it, but the jist was this: creativity is a renewable resource. It doesn’t run out, it just continues to flow. And in fact, I think the more you tap into your creativity, the greater the resulting stream becomes. So don’t be afraid to engage your creative side (finish knitting that sweater idea! write that book! decorate that cake with pink frosting!), and challenge yourself to travel a new path in the year ahead! (Ok, maybe that is a resolution?)

Happy New Year! xoxo Danielle

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