FROM THE ARCHIVE // JOSEPH KNITWEAR, THEN & NOW

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It all started with a sweater. In the 1970s when Joseph Ettedgui was first formulating ideas for an intelligent uniform for women, he started with knitwear, and founded a collection entitled JOSEPH TRICOT. Here he explored the craftsmanship and artistry of the knit. Pushing its boundaries. And establishing this often overlooked garment as a pillar of style.

As the collection grew to incorporate all facets of a working wardrobe, the TRICOT – French for knitting, or sweater – was dropped from the name to leave JOSEPH as we know it today.

Wearing a ribbed knit sweater and dress, model Maria Loks poses for photographer Bibi Cornejo-Borthwick; Pre-AW17.
A masculine knit, worn by model Ana Drummond, photographed by Pamela Hanson
Left, model Zoe Gaze photographed by Peter Lindbergh;
Autumn/Winter 2000 campaign.

Under the guidance of creative director Louise Trotter, the JOSEPH collection was swiftly brought into the 21st century. Through both her collections and imagery, Louise continually re-evaluates the founding language to create a functional uniform for now: the perfect coat, a masculine pant, the need-to-own blouse... And of course timeless knitwear, as always.

Left: The wool knit Joane Dress shot by Bibi Cornejo-Borthwick; Pre-AW17. Above: The Autumn/Winter 2015 campaign photographed by David Sims.

This season Louise Trotter looks to the recent past for inspiration. The 1970s in particular. To the power of nostalgia, and the feel of a womanly hand behind the clothes. The resulting knitwear? Fair Isle sweaters reimagined with preppy cape-like backs. Cable knits and roll necks come oversized in silhouette and lavished in care and craftsmanship. And classics, like the ribbed dress, seem suddenly so new in their monochromatic palette.

New and forever classics.