Steal this Knit: Valentino Fall 2014

Written by Sarah on January 30th, 2014 Posted in DIY, Steal This Knit

There are a lot of great menswear collections popping up this month. I’m heavily inspired by menswear. I definitely have tomboy style. I love the colors and textures and simple silhouettes. Men can look so handsome in just a simple crew neck sweater, I want to borrow from that minimalism when it comes to my own design.

Anyway, I was browsing the Valentino Fall 2014 Collection (which you can view in full here) and one piece really caught my eye. Of course, there were a ton of great knits under big wool jackets, most of which were very basic: heather grey sweaters, some with stripes and buttons, and a couple with Icelandic yokes. Like I said, boys look stylish in anything. But this piece was certainly my favorite.

valentino fall 2014

So this sweater has really awesome colors but look closely. It’s a reverse fair isle. As in, take your favorite colorwork sweater and turn it inside out. My first thought is that I’m crazy about this concept because I love seeing the “behind the scenes” of knitwear, the knitty gritty seams and button bands and whatnot. Something about the thought process. But I also really love how bold the color work becomes. Instead of delicate dots and careful zig zags and whatnot, there are big, bright shapes.

Immediately when I saw this sweater, my brain travelled right to this cardigan, the Reverse Fair Isle Coat by Cheryl Murray which was featured in Vogue Knitting Fall 2012. (My mind palace is filled with back issues of knitting magazines, I swear!) I loved the coat when I picked up the magazine back then and for the same reasons I love this sweater.

reverse fair isle

Now, obviously reverse fair isle isn’t something unique to this year’s fashion. I actually saw an adorable chunky cardigan at The Gap last winter that was pink and white reverse fair isle that I was a little obsessed with. But I’m really excited about this technique as a new way to look at knitting. If you do want to emulate the runway, though, deconstruction is big right now. While I can’t see myself distressing things that I made by hand, this is a really fun way to be on trend.

What do you think? Would you knit colorwork just to show the wrong side? Are you intrigued?

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Comments (8)

  • Emma
    January 30, 2014 at 10:29 am |

    I LOVE the reverse side of fairisle, but whenever I see it in a store I can’t shake the feeling that it just looks like it’s inside out. Maybe there’s a difference between machine-made and hand-knitted? I’ve knit a few colourwork things myself that I’ve considered flipping wrong-side-out. But I think not all fairisle patterns are equally interesting on the reverse. It would be interesting to knit up various swatches – hopefully we’ll see a reverse-fairisle pattern from you at some point!

    ps. Thanks for your Twitter help with my Faro – I also found some useful threads on Ravelry and think I have it figured out and haven’t gone toooo wrong so far…

    • January 30, 2014 at 11:53 am |

      You bet! I’m totally here if you need more help! It’s still fresh in my mind!

  • January 30, 2014 at 12:27 pm |

    I love reverse fair isle, but the floats have to be so even that I don’t think I’d ever be happy with a reverse fair isle project. I’m guessing there would be a lot of temper tantrums involved.

    • January 30, 2014 at 9:33 pm |

      That’s true. My floats aren’t so nice just yet but I’d love to try it!

  • January 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

    I also love men’s knitwear. I kept trying to convince my bestie that he needed the Hugo sweater from Brooklyn tweed, even though it isn’t precisely his style, just because I really wanted to knit it. (he’s very minimalist when it comes to knitwear.) He listened to me go on and on about how classic and chic it was, and he finally responded with “If you love it so much, KNIT IT FOR YOURSELF, DUMMY.”
    Needless to say, it shall be mine. Why didn’t I think of that?

    Also, I don’t think I could do reverse fair isle, because my floats are a hot mess.

    • January 31, 2014 at 4:21 pm |

      I’d love to make one of the BT Mens sweaters for me. I always wear boys’ clothes and swim in them so I’m not sure if I ought to!

  • February 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm |

    I’m still learning color work in general, but I love the idea of something being reversible! (Even if I just accidentally put it on inside out and don’t notice until I go to the bathroom…)

  • September 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm |

    Not practical. The first time a float gets caught on a fingernail or tree branch or car door? That sweater is toast. And the floats are on the forearm? Don’t sit down or do any work while wearing. And since the floats are actually loose strands of yarn hanging together, even dry cleaning is going to cause them to felt, even with great care. So you can’t wear it to work or in a car or clean it. But it isn’t the first garment made just for the runway. 😀

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