Colour, Design, Materials, Trends

Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood

The latest exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum explores one of the most fundamental textile techniques, knitting, that has been on an inspiring journey over centuries.


The Content:

Taking examples from the private collection of Mark and Cleo Butterfield, the exhibition guides you through their personal approach and passion for knitted garments. Far more than a historical overview, we are immersed in the emotional aspects of design where hand knits, machine knits, crocheted garments and experimental high fashion pieces all hold a narrative. Groups include Fashionable Folk, Make Do and Mend and A New Era with each area telling its own unique story. With collections coming from decades past it is fascinating to see the journey this particular technique has been on and how it is still central to fashion design today.

The Exhibition Design:

Imagined by Beth Ojari, FTM’s in-house exhibition designer, Knitwear is another impressive example of how the exhibition space can be transformed so that you are completely absorbed into the work on display. Raw and industrial in feel, the collections are sectioned within timber cases that form a simple but considered contrast to the fashion pieces. A black background covers the museum walls; a cocoon is created proving that dark colours can be comforting as well as sumptuous.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the exhibition and have gained a new respect for all those knitters out there who really do wear their heart on their sleeve.