Knitwear is certainly having a moment: The ultimate category to convey a comforting sense of ease and well-being.
The fashion houses that presented their fall 2021 collections at Milan Fashion Week interpreted knitwear in an array of ways. Here, WWD spotlights three main trends.
1. THE EVERYDAY UNIFORM
Forget banal sweaters. Knitwear today means chic everyday uniforms, helping women easily transition their look from day to evening.
Missoni ruled the week when it came to delivering the ultimate knitted total looks, including winter kaftans matched with flared pants, but also sophisticated pajama-like sets in charming color combinations. Another brand with roots in knitwear, Iceberg presented a women’s capsule of knitted monochromatic outfits designed by creative director James Long. The cool lineup included maxi cardigans matched with miniskirts and logo sweaters, long jacquard skirts paired with V-neck tops or roomy blousons, as well as slick coats and dresses with strong shoulders.
Total knit looks also prevailed at Fabiana Filippi. “We are setting aside the concept of leisurewear to interpret knitwear in a more elevated, versatile way,” said the brand’s chief executive Mario Filippi Coccetta. “In this collection, we presented several knitted outfits that women can wear in a variety of occasions, not only in their spare time.” There were cashmere pants and coordinated tops, along with a maxi cardigan worn with a matching turtleneck dress in a graphic jacquard motif.
In the advanced contemporary segment, Federica Tosi, a women’s brand offering easy, chic collections for women on the go, knitwear stole the spotlight with cashmere dresses, young and cool three-piece knitted suits, including wide-legged pants, cropped tops and cozy cardigans.
2. THE SEXY TOUCH
If jacquard catsuits exalting the women’s curves stood out at power brands like Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo, Andrea Adamo, founder and creative director of emerging brand AndreaAdamo, also embraced the sensual way with his signature approach to knitwear. Working exclusively with viscose and wool, the designer for his second collection focused on sinuous shapes, cutouts and layering. Rendered in a palette of skin tones, with touches of ivory and black, the collection included ribbed cardigans matched with cycling shorts and soft corsets, harnesses that are designed to be worn through the cutout details of sweaters with puffy sleeves and flared pants and off-the shoulder dresses with front buttons. The brand, which has already caught the attention of celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, is now distributed at some of most important physical and online stores in the world, including Net-a-porter, Selfridges and Luisa Via Roma.
3. ARTSY AND CRAFTY
Knitwear also left space for designers to experiment with techniques, yarns and colors. Francesco Risso, creative director of Marni, delivered highly creative knitted dresses in a patchwork of motifs, while Paul Andrew at Salvatore Ferragamo used the fil coupè technique to enrich long fringed top and pant sets, as well as dresses, for a dramatic look. Vibrant jacquard motifs stole the spotlight at Etro, while Antonio Marras presented a capsule of limited-edition archival sweaters enriched with intricate intarsia executed with upcycled fabrics. Knitwear specialist Cividini presented the WOW sustainable capsule of cashmere handmade sweaters and cardigans which were painted by hand to create sophisticated, abstract colorful motifs. Designer Massimo Alba, known for his discreet, effortless and poetic aesthetic, continued to present his signature chic monochromatic sweaters showing degrade shades, but also unveiled soft cashmere sweaters which are treated with natural thistles and are dyed by hand to obtain charming, artsy tie-dye effects.