Schiaparelli Bowknot Sweater
The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Costume and Textile Department, of which Lisa Stockebrand is part, staged “Shocking ! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” -a comprehensive retrospective exhibit of Schiaparelli’s work- from September 28 2003- January 4 2004.
Prior to that exhibit, Lisa wrote an updated Bowknot Sweater pattern based on the sweater in the museum’s collection using a larger gauge and making slight accommodations for a more modern fit.
Elsa Schiaparelli’s famous trompe l’oile Bowknot Sweater was part of her November 1927 collection. The sweater was knit using a fascinating technique which gave the sweater, in Elsa’s words, a “steady look”. Schiaparelli had seen a sweater knit in this unusual way and tracked down the knitter, an Armenian woman, who knit the first sweaters for Schiaparelli. As Schiaparelli sold more garments, other Armenian women in Paris familiar with this method were called upon to knit them. It is from these knitters we call the technique “Armenian”.