While the worlds of fashion and retail are firmly on the way to what is officially called spring/summer, it seems that the British weather has other ideas. So, when you consider the ratio of cold and rainy days to balmy, sunny ones, knitwear is an extremely sensible purchase, whatever the season.
While knitting was a pastime traditionally associated with pensioners, it has seen a significant revival in recent years. It has lost its “OAP” label and is now a hip hobby that appeals to a wide demographic. It’s no surprise then that in the wake of this revival, independent knitwear labels have emerged with contemporary luxury and quality craftsmanship at the core of what they do.
One London-based brand that epitomises these ideals is & Daughter, which, as the name suggests, is a family run affair. Former publicist Buffy Reid has teamed up with her father, Columba Reid, who brings enviable expertise in wholesale tweeds and cashmere, creating a match made in woollen heaven. Together they have launched a sublime capsule collection of knitwear and accessories that uses traditional techniques re-imagined into modern styles.
The colour palette is predominantly neutral with classic greys and oatmeal shades. An Aran jumper might conjure up images of a WI knitting circle but there’s nothing old-fashioned about & Daughter’s cream version, which is updated with patchwork effects on the sleeves. Granddad cardigans are oversized and cashmere sweaters designed with cocoon-like shapes.
Needle is another new name in the world of yarn. It’s the brainchild of Lizzie Cawthray, who worked as a knitwear specialist for a major high-street retailer before turning her talent to her own range less than a year ago. In contrast to & Daughter’s timeless designs, Needle has taken a quirkier approach to knitwear. Think colour-block jumpers and contrast-stripe sweaters.
Woolly thinking? No way.