The Rising Prestige of Knitted Outerwear March 1922
Novelties Offered in Wide Range from Lace like Sweaters to de Luxe Suits and Capes.
IT is a saying trite but true that fashion starts at the top, meaning, of course, with the acknowledged designers. There is inevitably a reason for a designer being acknowledged and in that slippery place, at the top.
Among those recognized proofs of capacity for holding one's own anywhere but, in particular, in places of eminence, are the independence of judgment and ability to gauge the practical side of the thinking public—a limited audience, to be sure, but an exceptionally satisfactory one to hold with certainty.
The arriving knitted outerwear movement is so fortunate as to enjoy the confidence of both the designer of prestige and the discriminating consumer who follows his voice but with eyes of her own.
It is this powerful combination behind the rapidly gathering favor for "the best" which spurs endeavor to attract more intelligent scrutiny from the less "aware" type of consumer.
You have seen it before—the wealthy ignorant class, the spendthrift, the women who have never learned how to combine comfortable ease with smartness, those who spend freely without satisfaction as to results and that vast army of consumers who do not "bother about the fabric— just the style”!
Chief among the forces at present which conspire to the end of successful efforts in behalf of a clearer discernment of the new values possessed by superior knitted outerwear is a recognizable consumer search for fabrics which meet the almost overwhelming 1922 demand for practical sports, semi-sports, and spectator dress in textures.
These textures hold their own under protracted tests such as exposure to the sun's rays, or to dampness; to frequent cleaning; packing and travel conditions; the strain of juvenile energizing in movement or of wear by those of too ample build.
With these wholly practical demands in view, it is a matter of interest to find that from the standpoint of the consumer of unlimited income, the need for knitted outerwear of distinction exceeded the most sanguine expectations in mid-Winter resorts wear.
This story has been heard from many exclusive shops and statements are here made by firms of recognized standing within the dress production field:
Wilkin and Adler
"We are able to sustain every point made on behalf of the superior productions in knitted outerwear without any reservation whatever.
"We were among the first to advocate the absolute values regardless of ignorance or prejudice on the part of the buyer, or his difficulties in properly presenting these specialties to an indifferent public.
"We continued to develop more and more attractive features, to play up the style points without making the handling overelaborate and today have practically standardized this type of one-piece dress, with or without its outer wrap, as a year-round woman's clothing business.
"Greatly improved texture, which is beautifully silky in appearance in the grades of jersey of finest wools, and a vastly more attractive color chart have inspired the designer who understands the correct treatment of these fabrics to a point of real achievement."
Here is an excellent illustration of the right-about-face in a practical dress when handled by a man at the top of his profession.
The most recent development of 1922 is the wool-lace sweater. It comes in a marvelously fragile looking though altogether practical garment of great beauty made by the Bickerton Studio.
Response to this novelty is such that it is easy to see the growing interest in wool productions from an angle of greater charm than extreme practicality.
"I hear that Callot and Chanal are much interested in such developments and that they are creating new types of expensive knitted frocks which are having a success," was Miss Margaret Bickerton's comment.
"It is partly for the reason that fashion is promoting a new interest in the novelties and because there Is no way on earth to replace them for practical sports, that knitted innovations are today an established factor in the majority of wardrobes. The demand will never let down so long as more and more attractive ideas are submitted. It is up to the designers."
The Vandeco productions created by Vandewart Co., Inc., promote novelties with the practical sports uppermost. They go in for new construction ideas, introduce tailored innovations, consider the silhouette very sharply, with an eye to good looking novelties, and promote good color developments.
In commenting upon the evolution of this industry, which he has observed for twenty years, H. M. Cohen, manager, said:
"The promotion of knitted outerwear to the point attained this year seems astonishing in view of the long early struggle to get beyond the mere a, b, c, when sweaters were clumsy changes made by the schoolgirl from her middy blouse when she played hockey or basketball.
"With the various means adopted to prevent sagging a greater interest in designing for these productions immediately became apparent and with new stitches, the various contrasting borders and the combining of silk fiber and wools, the developments are most gratifying. Nevertheless, we are, in all probability, merely on the threshold of its possibilities."
Moffett Knitwear Novelties
The novelties now current in the Moffett knitwear showrooms include many incredibly useful features presented for the first time this season, among them a changeant sweater which introduces two colors in the changeant silk scheme of a two-tone movement.
In primrose and Nattier blue, this most attractively youthful note was interesting.
"It is the result of a search for the right combination with the youthful tweed suits," explained Miss Eggers, representing the firm. "The entire range of heathers and plain tone sports fabrics is covered. We opened them in December, and they have been wonderfully well received.
"We are somewhat surprised by the re-orders from Florida on pastel sweaters, in Iceland, fine alpaca and silk fiber effects. These show the open-work stripe and are so light in weight that they may be preferred for their unusual becomingness. Many of these novelties are made on the Links and Links handloom and are hand-made in their effect.
"The round neck to be worn with a Peter Pan collar is one of the season's successful style points, but our new deep V to the waistline with a narrow Tuxedo rever caught by two decorative buttons is also attracting a great deal of attention.
"Personally, I think very highly of a new knitted jacket we are developing. It is somewhat on the blazer type, with a closer underarm line, and ideal for the woman who carries herself well."
“Rising Prestige of Knitted Outerwear: Novelties Offered in Wide Range from Lace like Sweaters to de Luxe Suits and Capes,” in The American Cloak and Suit Review: Devoted to the Women’s and Children’s Ready-to-Wear Trades, New York: John M. O’Connor & Co., Vol. XXIII, No. 3, March 1922, p. 137.
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