Why is the Cardigan taking up the gauntlet?

At Le Futiloscope we’re finally getting our own back, we who have forever, against all odds and biting sarcasm, continued to wear the cardigan: this piece, for bluestockings who are always cold, is absolutely everywhere this season, on sites of major brands and on silhouettes of the most trendy street styles. Now you can even find headings labeled “cardigans” on sites, when last year they were judiciously called “sweaters”…and we can’t count the articles that speak lovingly of the subject, in a feminine press forgetful of its long betrayal…

Of course, we’re not talking about the long masculine cardigan with buttons in leather or horn. Its chic has never been contested by anyone, it’s a classic worn by tall girls à la Birkin, or with elegance just a bit masculine like Hepburn (Katherine, not Audrey, who nonetheless looked pretty good in the old-fashioned cardigan). That big brightly colored folk thing with large loose knitting is also in been in our sights for a long time, it goes so well with flowered dresses…but the other come-back, a real surprise, is the little sweater! Yes indeed, with a round collar and buttons—6 or 7 usually—the kind that old fashioned profs drape over their tired shoulders, that robust English women throw over their tweed skirts, that grandmas with chignons throw over their dresses and that vintage bourgeoises use for of their twin-sets. It may not be exactly the way it is, but it pleases us to see it that way…Take heart fans, you no longer have to rummage through English charity shops or Monoprix’s less glamorous aisles!

It’s now the latest little sweater, the new sweatshirt. We’ve seen it coming for a while now…Parisian little clones of Jeanne Damas hang out in the Printemps Department Store with theirs, worn open over a little crocheted crop top, with jeans and mules. No surprise there, on the site de Rouje (Jeanne D’s brand), there are tons of pretty cardigans, with holes, balloon sleeves, mutton sleeves or banana sleeves, with cute little buttons—balls of mauve, sky blue, ecru…, it’s a real granny chic festival! The embroidered flower version, of alpine inspiration is equally as popular: the ones knitted by Leandra Medine for her collaboration with Mango are almost impossible to find since they made their appearance, which shows you how far we’ve come!

Except that Granny or Heidi are now slightly jazzed up! That’s the perverse side of this recycling…The cardigan 2019 is worn next to the skin, its often short, very short, V necked, revealing—it’s diabolical! The hint of a plunging neckline or a slightly bare midriff (obviously never the two at the same time, we do know how to behave). We tie it, if we need to, to make it more pleasant. The A listers like theirs as well, bare-chested with a cashmere undershirt. There again we’re straying a bit far from its initial respectability, which is to say the practical side of the cardigan, and we just may have gone too far!

But it doesn’t matter, even a slightly corrupted, this invention of Lord Cardigan—who apparently created it by cutting through his pullover, a bit too tight, with his saber during the Crimean War—has not made a comeback by chance. Firstly, it is clearly part of the sexy cerebral movement—along with the trench coat and the shirt dress—that the neo bourgeoise, revered everywhere, has brought back in her baggage (in cognac colored leather, of course). That icy sexiness is undeniably popular, even if there are pockets of resistance in certain rap or R&B clips. Finally, the true cardigan is obligatorily in wool, delicate or rustic, the DYI side is heartily encouraged. It clearly not vegan, but at least it’s a material that is natural, durable, recyclable, the antithesis of the hoodie in a cotton mix; a nice cardigan, if you take care of it, can last forever! And considering the prices asked by “knitwear” stores, who seem to have the monopoly like I love Mister Mittens or Baaba, it’s a good thing. Get ready because a good trendy cardigan can cost an arm and a leg, maybe two…Especially if it doesn’t have any buttons and the sleeves are too bizarre to fit under a coat!

Photo : @candela