The most joyous, playful fashion show I have seen in years took place in Soeul recently to display the Chanel Cruise collection.
The fashion show featured fabulous bright colors against a white background. I was so enraptured by the fun of the clothes, and the jewelry was absolutely sublime!
Look at how gorgeous these pins are alone! Can you imagine wearing one of these Korean-inspired flowers on your knitted cardigan?
I brought some images I had printed out from this Seoul Cruise Collection to my knitting group and there was one pattern above all the others that was selected as the favorite:
I think the reason this is so popular is that in spite of the intricate textile, the garment is young, wearable and fun. The leaf pattern is so reminiscent of growing shoots in spring, it makes me happy just to look at it.
I cast around to find a pattern that would allow me to knit a similar cardigan without appliqueing on a million leaves, and this is what I came up with:
Cherry by Anna Bell
This is a fun, vintage-inspired cardigan designed by Anna Bell. Although the leaf pattern is not as intricate as in Bell’s pattern, it does have one considerable advantage over the Chanel cardigan. The sweater I knitted goes in at the waist, instead of in the overbust area.
Chanel cardigan from Soeul Cruise Collection 2015-2016
“Cherry” cardigan designed by Anna Bell
Although the super-skinny model pulls off the shaping of the Chanel cardigan really well, it would look ridiculous on anyone with a real bust. Also, the Chanel cardigan flares out in the waist and hips area which would not be really flattering on anyone with a curvy figure. At least, I have found that unless I emphasize my waist it seems to disappear. And the handmade chord belt which is included in the Cherry cardigan definitely helps to emphasize the waist:
I happened to have a stash of leaf-green Calmer which had been given to me by my knitting friend, Kristen. Thank you so much Kristen! Calmer is a wonderful, springy cotton-blend yarn which was unfortunately discontinued by Rowan several years ago. But Rowan’s Softknit cotton might make a good substitute. What I love about this cotton blend yarn is the resulting fabric is super comfortable to wear in a California climate all year round.
The surface pattern of the pattern is created using a cable needle. It is a bit time-consuming but was the closest I could come to the fabulous leaf motif in my Chanel inspiration:
Here is a closeup of my fabric in the cable pattern so you can compare:
I have been wearing this cardi all the time as a spring/summer blouse with flared-leg jeans. But oh how I wish I could get my hands on the fabulous beaded jeans in the Chanel version. Perhaps it is time to take a class on adding beads to fabric? It could be an incredible way to rehabilitate an old, faded pair of jeans!
This cardigan is just a tip of the iceberg—there are so many fabulous garments in the recent Chanel fashion shows it is hard to know what to choose as the next source of inspiration!