Sunday, January 07, 2007

Vogue in Review

I've actually been asked to provide a review of the new issue of Vogue Knitting! I can hardly believe that SOMEONE wants lil' ol' ME to provide a perspective on fashion.

With that said, let me explain what I look for in a pattern--I'm fairly modest and will NOT wear low-cut necklines, plus, those sorts of garments don't avail themselves as work apparel. I want to knit something I can wear to work. Furthermore, it has to have some shaping, some highlighting of the waist, to it. Knitted garments have the potential to be so bulky, and if they don't have any waist shaping, just plan on looking 15# heavier than you really are. I consider myself to be a girl's girl (despite working in the Old Boys' Club), so there has to be something feminine yet strong about it. No frilly things that can get blown around in the wind--sort of a negative metaphor for me not holding my ground. I think Vladimir Teriokhin has mastered the feminine-but-strong combo pretty well. And to top it off, the pattern has to have something unusual, something you can't find in the store, to it, without practically making you stand on your head to acheive it. Simple but elegant. And NO novelty yarns. I want to show off my Skillz, not some frou-frou yarn. Combine this with my basic stance of NO intarsia, NO flowers, NO socks, and NO Fair Isle. . . And I'm left with practically nothing to knit!

All that being said, here we go. . .
No woman should be knitting these. First, if she's single, it's not applicable, and second, if she's committed, it will be her undoing. As someone who advocates gender equality, I will say it was kind of Vogue to include something for the fairer sex (oops, I mean the men) to knit for themselves. But I do have to say that the middle design is iffy. What man would actually wear something asymmetrical? Really, now. Update: the middle design, the
asymmetrical number, was done by Vladimir Teriokhin, I am SOOOOO disappointed in him! He always does good work, but this is nasty.
Given the background setting of white and rococco furniture, I'm guessing the section called "Northern Lights" is meant to be an homage to Scandinavia, and not necessarily a knitter's interpretation of the aurora borealis, considering none of them look like the Northern Lights. I'll discuss them L-R, top to bottom, numbered 1-6. #1: I can't see the detail very well, but it looks promising. If it requires knitting thru the back loop or into the loop below, count me out, cuz I don't know how. Update: yarn is too "novelty" for my taste. #2: Boring. Uninspired. Remember, changing yarn colors = lots of weaving in ends! #3: A definite possibility. I would have to see what kind of yarn they use. If it's really expensive and I can't find a cheaper alternative, forget it. #4: Beautiful, but look at how fine that yarn is. One snag and it's all over. I'm not putting that kind of work into a garment to have it destroyed in the first 5 minutes I wear it. #5: Fits my "simple but elegant" requirement. Not a whole lot of shaping, but that collar is positively yummy. I would change the color combinations, but you have to stay subtle with it or you'll look like a medieval harlequin joker. Update: I don't like the change in yarn texture at the collar and cuffs. They should have used the same yarn as the rest of the sweater. And I don't like the Fair Isle knitting in the pieces. . .I couldn't see that in the photos online. Not keen on all the seaming, but I like how they did it inside-out. . .I think. #6: Love the shaping and cabling. I'm not sold on the bobbles. They are distracting. I'd knit it without the bobbles, do you think it would work? Update: It's very short, sort of cropped. It would need some lengthening.

From the New York Noir category . . .

"Noir" means "black" in French. None of these are entirely black. #1: Looks suspiciously like the camel jacket from Teriokhin in last year's Vogue holiday or Vogue winter. I can't find a photo of that online to compare, but trust me. I would knit either one. Update: This one is NOT by VT.#2: IT'S A DRESS. No $@#%ing way. Repeat after me girls, No $@#%ing way! #3: See Northern Lights #2. #4: A definite possibility. Update: what is it with seaming multiple pieces in this issue? #5: What is it? I can't see the whole thing, or IS that the whole thing? COME ON VK, if we're going to spend hours and hours on a garment, at the expense of other important things in our lives, at least give us a decent photo before we commit! And it has ruffles. You know how I feel about ruffles. Update: That really is the whole thing, one giant ruffle.#6. Ruffles again. . .

And now we move on to roses. I guess the VK people were thinking, "English rose, English tea, let's stick her in a kitchen to make it really sexy." No offense to the housewives or chefs, what you do is entirely necessary and appreciated, but let's face it, it's not really sexy. At least not when you wear sweaters with knitted flowers, or anything at all, for that matter. I suppose the Cleopatra-like hair and eye makeup are to be a hard contrast to the softness of the flowers. It's not working for me. #1: Is that a peacock I see? Out of the three here, this one I sort of like, but would never actually knit. #2: Gosh, I really hope the tunic-and-leggings thing passes quickly. #3: The sweater might be cool without the intarsia, in a sort of 1920's art deco caftan sort of way, but I don't think I would knit even that.

Update: I haven't commented on the cover piece yet, because I couldn't get a similar photo to the others here. I like it. A lot. It continues to grow on me. I suspected it was by Norah Gaughan because it had that "Knitting Nature" look to it (and I think this is the most sophisticated example of her knitted pentagon technique). Not keen on all that seaming, but the overall effect is super cool, don't you think???

To summarize: A few conditional possibilites, but Vogue fell way short of the standard this time. I've had better.


At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Kristina said...

Okay. quick. I don't feel like going upstairs to get my copy, but I will say this:

that blue cabled sweater with the turtleneck - while it looks comfy-cozy, it would add a good 30 on me. Since my upper half is my smaller half, that would just not be a good thing. (is an extra 30 pounds good anywhere??)

the one with the bobbles that you said is too short - I like it, but everytime I look at the picture in the mag, I thing to myself, "look at all those nipples". I'm sorry, but I just do.

If you don't mind bobbles, and don't mind turtlenecks (I'm still deciding on both - turtlenecks tend to make me feel claustrophobic) then there is a sweater from last winter that I liked.

the blue-tailored jacket that you said reminded you of one from last year - VERY NICE. Don't know when I would ever wear it, though.

More tomorrow. :)

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Jaws said...

You are probably right about the blue sweater, for ANYONE. . .

The grey short one with the nipples (oops, I mean bobbles) I think would be OK without them but we would need to elongate it. . .

What is the one from last year you are thinking about? I looked thru all my old VK mags to find it. . .

What about the cover item???? I remain hopeful about it.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

Winter 2005/2006
#11 on pg 72


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