Chanel Paris Dallas Metier d'Arts Fashion Show 2013-2014
Nothing is more fabulous than everyday American sportswear elevated to the sublime by a master like Karl Lagerfeld. The Chanel Paris Dallas fashion show is a true inspiration! The show featured denim, Native American jewelry and knitwear glamorized to the extreme! Take a look at this incredible denim jacket with metallic trim:
Behold an ordinary wardrobe staple transformed! I had never realized that I could pair a jean jacket with a Parisian ball gown until I saw this piece. it is the elevation of the simple things we wear every day to something sublime that draws me to making clothes. Naturally, I immediately set to work on creating a jacket like this for myself.
I often turn to Kim Hargreaves’ patterns because of their elegant simplicity. She designed a marvelous knitwear spin on the jean jacket a few years ago, called Wren.
Kim Hargreaves’ Wren
The design grabbed me immediately, and I bought the Rowan Felted Tweed Aran yarn the pattern required for my birthday. But then something held me back. Something was missing to make the jacket complete. And now I know what was lacking—metallic trim!
Rowan has an extensive palette of metallic yarns called Anchor Artiste Metallic, and I chose color 326, a dirty silver that perfectly compliments the light flecks in my Felted Tweed Aran yarn.
It is really rather uncanny how closely Kim Hargreaves' Wren resembles the Chanel jean jacket I have been yearning for. If you look closely at the Chanel jacket, the fabric is cut into little denim pailletes that ornament the surface and give it extra oomph:
The Kim Hargreaves jacket has a similar textural interest, achieved through the use of a double moss-stitch pattern:
The biggest challenge to creating a tribute to the Chanel jacket, however, is in finding a way to use metallic trim and blend it seamlessly into the knitwear. After some experimenting, I decided to crochet a silver line on top of my knitted fabric to create style lines similar to those on the Chanel jacket in the Paris Dallas show.
As you can see, that strategy was rather successful on the fronts of the jacket:
The (slightly wavy) silver lines to the right or left of my pin line, depending on which piece you are looking at, are made by crocheting a chain in silver on the surface of the knitted piece. A line of purl stitches was my guide. The actual silver edges of the jacket were created by picking up stitches along the edge in the anchor metallic yarn, knitting one row in double moss stitch, and casting off. I will show this more clearly in my next post. Right now the line of pins rather obscures my beautiful silver edge. Although the crocheted lines are not as perfectly straight as I would like, they compliment the wavy movement of the cable panel and the curves of the piece itself, so I don't mind. After all, couture pieces are supposed to look hand-detailed.
However, the back piece is another matter. For some odd reason, only two out of the four lines I crocheted onto the fabric in silver thread stand out:
Although I crocheted a line on either side of my cable panels, only the left lines of silver stand out. There is a band of two knit stitches that flanks each side of the cable panels, and for some reason those knit stitches seem to lean to the right, obscuring my crocheted trim. It is a bizarre effect. This faux pas only makes me more grateful that I completed my knitted piece and added the silver embellishment to the surface of the knitting afterwards, because now it is easy to remove. My next step will be to crochet the surface again, and this time I will crochet directly on top of the outermost knit stitch of the border bands to ensure the lines of silver all standout. If that result also looks uneven, I will have to embroider the lines using a fly stitch. But it is easier for me to achieve an even tension with a crochet hook than a needle, so I will give the crochet embellishment one more try.
For anyone who is interested in experimenting with crocheting on top of their knitting for embellishment, I describe the technique in this blog post: