Soft to touch - the return of knitwear
Knitwear has come back into vogue as a real style statement and with changing weather patterns, we are reaching for sweaters all year round
When Victoria Beckham recently posed for the cover of Vogue, she wore nothing more than a jumper. And what a jumper. Beautiful, high-necked with a ribbed, chunky knit, it was a clear message from the designer with a host of coats, dresses and bags to sell - the jumper is a wardrobe hero, savour yours.
For true knitwear aficionados, the fact that jumpers are now totally in vogue comes as no big surprise. They've been loving the touch and feel of interesting knits for years and in Ireland, a major advocate has been Dom Byrne of the Sweater Shop who marked himself out as a visionary back in the 1980s.
At the time, Dom was working for Gaeltarra knitwear, selling Irish Aran sweaters in the States, when he noticed a gap in the Irish market for a speciality sweater store. He came home and opened The Sweater Shop on Wicklow Street and targeted the domestic market with a large variety of sweaters, all made in a natural fibre, from lambswool, angora, mohair and cottons to chunky wools. Expansion followed with stores opening in High Street, Kilkenny and on Galway's Abbeygate Street, with the mothership Sweater Shop now on Dublin's Nassau Street where Dom has been joined by his daughter, Laura, and daughter-in-law, Kate.
The ladies have introduced a new line of fine merino wool and pure cashmere this autumn/winter to cater for changing consumer demands. They pride themselves on having something in store to suit everyone's budget, so while they brought in a more luxurious range of cashmere this year, there are still specials running year round in store at €39.90.
The Aran sweater has experienced peaks and troughs in the affections of the fashion industry. In the 1990s, it was regarded frumpy and old fashioned, but by the Noughties, it was elevated to one of the most in vogue knitwear looks.
Merino wool and cashmere blends are now the yarn of choice for customers. Merino wool from New Zealand is a constant favourite as it is softer than pure wool and keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so is the perfect all-year round garment. In terms of cost-per-wear, it earns its place in your wardrobe.
Knitwear: The Sweater Shop, sweatershop.com
Photography: Barry McCall
Styling: Catherine Condell
Assisted by Grace Browne
Hairdressing: Michael Leong
Make-up: Searon Mc Grattan,
Model: Sarah McGovern @ Assets Models
Shot on location at loghouse.ie at Horkans Garden Centre, Glen of the Downs, Co Wicklow