Sweater weather has arrived — and there’s no place like home to buy an investment Aran, a vibrant cardi or a statement scarf
The clocks have changed and there’s a definite bite to the air. That means one thing — it’s officially sweater weather. With the iconic Aran jumper and a generations’ old textile tradition, Ireland boasts one of the most exciting and established knitwear industries in the world. There’s no better place to shop for an investment knit for the colder months, and even more so considering the current crop of designers marrying heritage techniques with savvy colour palettes, statement silhouettes and sustainable practices.
When it comes to bold colour, Belfast-based Hope Macaulay is the go-to for a wealth of A-listers, including the likes of Bella and Gigi Hadid, who have fallen for her signature chunky cardigans in vibrant sherbet shades. The made-to-order pieces are crafted using just the hands to knit jumbo merino wool, and customers can expect to wait around three weeks to receive their pieces.
Macaulay is just one of many Irish knitwear designers who have put sustainability at the core of their brands, and this ‘slow’ fashion approach is a welcome reprieve for consumers looking for an alternative to fast fashion.
Likewise, Dubliner Pearl Reddington works with a small team of makers in Donegal. The designer has reimagined the classic Aran, pairing charcoal, navy and pale blue knits with a slash of neon on the cuff.
For a graphic take on knitwear, look no further than design duo Electronic Sheep, whose collection of kaftans and triangle scarves are adorned with comic-style illustrations.
New label Urban Aran, from Waterford designer Christine Murphy, takes a street-art-inspired approach with its graffiti-scrawled sweaters, cardigans and wraps.
Donegal native Faye Dinsmore has collaborated with textile designer and artist Ciara Harrison, pairing classic shapes with playful embroidery, elevating the humble sweater into a statement piece.
Galway-based Colin Bourke does ‘crotchet meets couture’ with his handknit pieces, while luxury designer Tim Ryan creates intricate, embellished knits that incorporate beading, fringing and crotchet.
For a touch of luxe, look to specialty cashmere designer Lucy Nagle, whose eye-catching star print sweaters are a bestseller, while Laura Chambers’ vibrant block colours are guaranteed to bring joy to the dullest winter day.
Ready-to-wear designer Niamh O’Neill has recently added cashmere to her arsenal, while Castanea’s butter-soft cashmere loungewear is the ultimate in work-from-home dressing.
With so many fresh takes on classic knitwear, the hardest thing this season will be choosing just one piece. So, how will you wear yours?