When I saw that mega brand Club Monaco had teamed up with one of my local favorite fashion designers, M. Patmos, who showed striking knitwear bursting with bright colors for fall/winter 2012 at New York Fashion Week--I had to take a closer look. Entirely made in the USA, the collection of 100% Italian cashmere sweaters is part of Club Monaco's push to foster local manufacturing.
Above, is the especially sharp and unexpectedly chic Houndstooth Boatneck ($550). The navy ribbed cuffs and hem are a flattering detail that adds shape to the textured sweater.
Designer Marcia Patmos' attention to the handmade and her commitment to working with artisans helped her win the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award in 2011. Points that were not lost in Club Monaco's move to employ Patmos' expert design skills. “Deciding to work with Marcia Patmos was a no-brainer – a natural fit,” says Club Monaco's Caroline Belhumeur. "We share a like-minded approach to designing cashmere… and believe in products with a soul, and the responsibility of preserving the trade of creating products with a personal touch.”
Most notable from the collaboration is the striking--and completely seamless-- Pointelle V-Neck($550), which was created using zero-waste "Wholegarment" technology Ecouterre reports. No fabric was wasted or left over in the process developed by Shima Seiki, according to Ecouterre, "the machine knits the yarn 'in the round' to create a single, seamless garment."
The Blanket Stripe Wrap Sweater ($695), with two white contrast stripes on the sleeves, gives the ol' Varsity sweater a modern twist. The draped shawl collar is, just as the production description says, "effortlessly flattering."
Less than favorable is Striped Poncho ($495). The boatneck is a nice touch but the design goes downhill from there: the casual fit is unflattering and the mismatched sleeve length appears sloppy.
I especially adore the navy and nude M.Patmos Striped Pullover, which is also available in grey and cream. Its hem hits below the hips, employing an oversized aesthetic, and the elongated sleeves reach the knuckles, which will keeps wrists nice and cozy come colder temps.
At $550, the sweater is priced on the steep end of the collection, which ranges in price from $140 to $695. To make the investment worth it, be sure to read up on how to care for clothing to ensure long-term wearability. Our guide on How To Go Green: Laundry, suggests hand washing as a safe alternative to traditional, perc-laden dry cleaning.