Today's post comes to us from Anne Podlesak, designer of the lovely Belleville cardigan. This is one of those rare and wonderful garments where the big impact is in the back; and it's really something. This is Anne's first design with Twist Collective and we are thrilled to have it in our pages! You can learn more about Anne and her work - here.
The idea for my Belleville sweater design was originally sparked with a conversation I had with a friend recently back from Paris. She and her husband had taken a week to wander around the streets, drink strong coffee in small café’s and generally soaking up the ambiance of the city. Their week was punctuated by some not-so-great weather in the form of dreary rain, but the locals kept saying “Oh, you should be here in the spring. It’s gorgeous.” So, having never been to Paris myself, I wondered exactly what was so gorgeous about Paris in the spring.
I hit up my trusty visual research aid, Pinterest, and found a whole set of eye-catching pictures of the Eiffel Tower and flowering trees in April. I was captivated by the steel structure of the tower juxtaposed with the pretty ballerina pink flowers. When I saw the call for the Spring/Summer 2014 issue, the mood board had a gorgeous pink inspiration photo, and that had me sitting down with my charting software to see what might work to combine an eyelet lace pattern and an arch-shaped twisted stitch pattern.
While wandering around Pinterest, I also found a gorgeous photo of Audrey Hepburn in a pale pink dress, standing in front of a spray of slightly darker pink flowers similar to those in the Parisian photos. From there, it was an easy path to sketch a pretty little spring cardigan that I could envision being worn over a lovely sleeveless dress and a pair of pretty pumps. (Although I think it would be equally great styled with a pair of slim capris, ballet flats and a simple T – which is also very Audrey Hepburn-esque.) I chose to keep the front fairly plain with just one column of the eyelet lace, but turn up the volume for the back, which is worked with a large lace panel. I balanced out the otherwise simple sleeves with the same eyelet lace I used for the front. I added some waist shaping for a bit of feminine curves, and Belleville was born.
I love the pale yellow Citrine colorway the sample was worked in, but I have to admit that I’m leaning towards a blush pink version for myself!