Follow the Thread

a textile & costume history blog from the Design Center at Thomas Jefferson University

Student Project: Missoni Knitwear, by Gabrielle Ramos

05.06.2021

Student Projects 2020-2021
The semester has ended here at Jefferson and this summer on the blog we’ll be highlighting some of the hard work our students did over the course of the year while enrolled in Jade’s History of Costumes and Textiles and Twentieth Century Fashion Designers classes. These students used objects from the Textile & Costume Collection as a jumping off point for the work you’ll see featured over the next few months. First up is our very own Gabby Ramos. Below is an abbreviated version of the analysis she wrote about the object and the piece she was inspired to make based on it.

Student bio: My name is Gabrielle Ramos and I’m a rising junior Fashion Design major at Thomas Jefferson University. As a student, I’ve worked on a variety of projects creating skirts, shirts, childrenswear, and accessories like the pair of earrings showcased in this blog post. In my free time, I have taken an interest in upcycling old clothes and making them my own. Over the course of my two years at Jefferson University, I have taken an interest in CAD/Illustrator and designing womenswear.  To see examples of my work, click here.

Anaylsis and Object Re-Design: T&CC 1986.27.12, sweater by Missoni,
c. 1979

At the Design Center, there are many different objects and garments from popular designers, both old and new. One designer’s creations that live at the Design Center is Missoni. Missoni is known for their knitwear garments. This garment is interesting because of its unique knitting, the popular designer, and the fibers it is made from.

This sweater is a long sleeved, knit sweater with multicolored stripes. The sweater has a crew neck with rib knit cuffs. The striped pattern has a blended look within the colors. The colors look like they fade into one another, while also showing distinct stripes in horizontal lines. The sweater is made of fibers including mohair, nylon, linen, and wool.

The interesting part of the sweater is the knitting technique of showing the purls on the outside of the garment. On the inside of the garment are the knit loops. Missoni as a brand focused on original knitting techniques. The Korean Society of Costume researchers have noticed that “… Missoni uses the jacquard technique to make complex patterns that show balance of colors and patterns such as zigzag, stripe…”(Hei Jung and Jae Min 32). Even though this specific sweater does not use the jacquard technique, this statement highlights how Missoni creates complex patterns.

The overall appearance of the sweater gives a warm, stylish feeling. The sweater is from circa 1979. In the late 70s, stripe patterns and muted colors were on trend. According to the Fashion History Timeline of FIT, “Seventies fashion began with a continuation of the late 1960s hippie style….” (Reddy 1) meaning that the 60s fashion meshed into the 70s. In the early 70s, the garments emphasized handmade materials from the 60s, while combining it with the sharper silhouettes in the mid-70s. It also became popular for designers to focus on knitting, crocheting, and hand-dyed yarns and fabrics. This can be shown on the sweater, with the mix of colors and purl and rib knit design.

The sweater has a variety of unique aspects, from the inspiration of the 1970s, to Missoni’s knitting techniques. This garment has a timeless look considering it is from the 70s, yet could be worn today. The muted colors made from vibrant yarns and the soft texture can be enjoyed by those who wear it. Missoni has designed with multiple techniques and innovative ideas that have been proven in each collection, from emphasizing the color palette through weaving, and using simple silhouettes. Missoni’s knitwear has never gone out of style and can be appreciated by those in and out of the fashion industry.

Sources:

Reddy, Karina. “1970-1979.” Fashion History Timeline, Fashion Institute of Technology, 3 Oct. 2019.

Chun, Hei Jung;Park, and Jae Min Park. “A Study on the Characteristics of Knitwear Fashion Design: With a Focus on Missoni, Sonia Rykiel, Azzedine Alaia.” International Journal of Costume and Fashion, The Korean Society of Costume, 30 June 2013. Pg 24 – 27

Student Assistant, Textile & Costume Collection, The Design Center, Thomas Jefferson University

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