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Monday Muse June 2, 2014

Chic Knits Knit Blog

…when I heard this month that the Met Museum was releasing a colleciton of digital images I couldn’t wait to to browsing…

One of the first things I found? A Downton Abbey era sweater – one of the first non-male cardigans that some fabulous chic woman wore circa 1915-1920.

Love the styling and the POP of spring color — it’s as fresh almost a century later as it was on Day One…

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Monday Morning Mirth January 27, 2014

Monday Morning Mirth

In the late 19th & early 20th Century, thousands of young women moved to urban centers to find careers in business industries.

They wore a uniform of sorts: blouses, skirts & large hats (especially those tremendous straw numbers, the Boater)!

Something else, unexpectedly they had in common?

Reading while walking (and I thought that was a smart phone 21st century phenom)!

…these candid photos are by the chief cartoonist for Punch magazine, Edward Linley Sambourne, circa 1906…



Suffragette City Part 6: Boy Meets Girl February 15, 2013

Now, although it is not a Real Place, it takes place in a Real Time.

It’s a destination in history, now securely planted in popular imagination, happening at a place called Downton Abbey.

Here lives a family whose members, in age and cultural breadth, experience the wildly changing early days of the 1900′s.

Last year, I accidentally re-discovered a treasure trove of pictures and old magazines from this time in my studio and something else totally unexpected popped up.

While exploring the era’s wonderful history, something fashionable became clear: the sweater that started a revolution in knitwear (while starting a revolution in the voting booths around the globe), the first widely-worn sweater of the 20th century!

Chic Knits Suffragette City Part 4

Here you see Sylvia Pankhurst and, I believe, her sister Christabel, being arrested while demonstrating for the Vote, England, circa 1905.

But notice what the ladies are wearing – something that looks really modern, something you can still find in 2013, over a hundred years later, fresh as ever.

A Jersey V-Neck Cardigan.

But look closely.

These suffragette’s are wearing men’s cardigans!

Because, you see, up until this time, women didn’t wear Sweaters.

They wore cloaks, coats, shawls and wraps, looking more like this

Chic Knits Suffragette City 6

than this

Chic Knits Suffragette City 6

But as women ventured into the public realm more and more, the clothes they were wearing became less about silhouettes, embelishments or ornament

they became all about Mobility.

Imagine swinging a racket or club in this:

Chic Knits Suffragette City 6

or would you rather (notice the smile):

Chic Knits Suffragette City 6

wear this…

…to be continued (Suffragette City Part 7: Girl Goes to Town)

…all in the series:
- Suffragette City Part 1
- Suffragette City Part 2
- Suffragette City Part 3
- Suffragette City Part 4
- Suffragette City Part 5
- Suffragette City Part 6


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