Chanel and Vivienne Westwood on display at Edinburgh knitwear show

The collection at Dovecot Studios charts a century of knitwear and celebrates Scotland's textile traditions.

Chanel and Vivienne Westwood among designers explored at Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios STV News

A new knitwear exhibition has opened its doors at Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios.

Chanel to Westwood features more than 150 unique knitted pieces and explores some of the most influential trends from the last 100 years.

The collection displays work from some of the biggest names in the industry and features an original 1920s Chanel jersey, as well as pieces from 1980s Vivienne Westwood and 1990s Julien MacDonald.

It also looks at the influence of art movements such as modernism, pop, punk and deconstruction, alongside new knitwear technologies and design innovation.

There is a feature on the ‘Make do and Mend Trend,’ a movement that gained momentum during the Second World War.

Jane Cerry, curator at Dovecot Studios, told STV News: “When the ‘Make do and Mend’ movement came along, women especially were encouraged to use old items of clothing and take apart old jumpers and re-knit them. 

“They couldn’t afford to buy new and, with the rationing, it just wasn’t available. So, there is some real ingenuity going on in the 1940s and we have some really nice pieces.”

Chanel to Westwood also celebrates Scotland’s important place in the knitwear industry and displays the work of contemporary designer Di Gilpin, who hopes the show will get the younger generation hooked.

She said: “There are great traditions here in Scotland which really need to be celebrated, and to keep young people knitting I always thought it was really important to develop knit into something exciting and contemporary and modern that you would want to wear.”

With Christmas just around the corner, visitors will also be able to purchase their favourite contemporary pieces from a pop-up shop featuring the designs of both Di Gilpin and La Fetiche.

Knitwear Chanel to Westwood runs at Dovecot Studios, in Edinburgh’s Infirmary Street, until March 11, 2023.

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