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The Menswear Report: Graphic Knits

The burly, macho-man’s sweater movement has about reached its final wide gauge thread it seems. Fall 2012 had designers playing with a more svelte model for knitwear. Sweaters were cut to an almost spartan line, imbued with a lightness of form that was similarly reflected in their fabrication (fine wool blends and luxe cashmere). These were sweaters that were meant to be layered, wardrobe pieces that you could imagine tucking perfectly into the waist band of a suit trouser or slipping, prim and proper, beneath a bespoke blazer.

That is not to say that the knitwear look of the season is minimalist or classic. While Fall 2012′s knits have none of the swaggering machismo of the Nordic jumpers and fisherman sweaters that are all the rage in fashion right now, they are nowhere lacking in spirit. Paring down the silhouette for many designers translated logically into upping the surface decoration. Interesting (and colorful) graphic motifs were in abundance, from animal iconography at Jil Sander to geometric doodles at Burberry Prorsum and Kenzo. Hermes showed an ominous drifting smoke print on several black and gray sweaters, a look which evoked for me both an Alexander McQueen accessories line and a Jason Wu party dress form a few falls ago.

While I wanted to like some of the zanier options (think a mustard yellow paisley print at Marc Jacobs and a multi-hued intarsia knit at Dries Van Noten), I found the most compelling pieces to be the simplest. A great example is look 26 at Lanvin: a fitted, gray crewneck with a bold block of red saturating its front panel, directional yet wearable in one covetable piece.

 

 

From Top: Lanvin, Burberry Prorsum, Kenzo, Alexander Wang, Jonathan Saunders, Hermes, Marc Jacobs, Dries Van Noten, Acne, Antonio Azzuolo

 

All images via Style.com

 

-Thomas Dai 14′