I started my career as a knitwear designer, so I will always have a passionate love affair with sweaters. The stores are filled with some of the most irresistibly cozy, sporty and whimsical knits seen in many seasons. Knits have their fashion ups and downs, but we are currently spinning in one of the biggest sweater cycles in years.

Sweaters are the dominant apparel category for holiday 2012. Fresh shapes, colorblocks, fairisles, metallics, embellished and quirky intarsias are everywhere. When intarsias come back in style, you know you are in full-blown knitwear revival.  I suspect sweaters will be standout sellers for 4th quarter 2012 and will be back with a vengeance for 2013.

Shape is the biggest story with a flair for the dramatic. These scene-stealers are easy and oversized.  There are voluminous cardigans, off-the shoulder scoop necks, batwings, kimonos, crops and capes. Details include uneven hems, ties, wraps, outside seaming, sporty details and back interest. The silhouettes are full- fashioned or sewn into radically new shapes. Outside seaming is used to tailor and create interest.  Oversized shapes tend to have some close to the body element, like tight sleeves on a boxy wide crop. Dramatic necklines include oversized cowls, deep v’s, shawls, wide scoops and mega ruffles.

Color is either wearable sumptuous neutrals, especially greys and navy or mouth-watering bright and bold.

Gauges are either very chunky or drapey, soft fine gauge.

Fibers are soft and inviting, not itchy or harsh. Cashmere and merino wool dominate in fine gauge. For chunky machine knits there are complex blends of soft, lightweight wools, acrylics and slub yarns.

Techniques include machine and hefty hand knit Jacquards, fine gauge intarsias, pieced and patched materials and stitches, color blocking, cables, sporty details, embellished  jeweled collars and  bibs and ribs of all weights.

Here is a roundup of the looks:

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com Creative and strategic consulting for retail and wholesale apparel, shoe and consumer product companies. Contact us for custom trend analysis, creative direction, strategic marketing, brand profiles, merchandising, etc.

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