Handknit and Handpainted: Perry Ellis
The first thing I ever knit was a vest from a Perry Ellis knit kit. It was in the early eighties and my fashion taste was way beyond my family’s means. Thankfully, my mother could sew and knit. We recreated Ellis styles through Vogue Sewing and Vogue Knitting patterns. I loved the Perry Ellis looks. And the sweaters in particular represented what I now see I admire in good design—organic materials, the tweaking of traditional forms, wit, simple shapes and comfort.
Most handmade sweaters I have owned (mostly made by my mother) since the eighties are variations on Perry Ellis designs. My absolute favorite sweater is pullover with a single cable running up the center front. I have it in multiple colors and weights.
My mother and I recently spent a giddy morning at our local knitting shop (New York’s Knitty City), rummaging through old Vogue Knitting magazines with the many Perry Ellis patterns. We have been inspired to make some of his patterns we didn’t consider in the past.
The following illustrations are some of my beloved Perry Ellises past and present, and (hopefully) Perry Ellises Yet to Come.