Vogue Knitting has just released their Winter 2013/2014 issue. I've introduced a slight innovation into this review by linking each pattern to the "360 degree" videos Vogue Knitting posts on YouTube for each clothing design. The videos let you see each design in action from every angle and absent the styling, which can get distracting, and it's ever so helpful for assessing the design. I definitely recommend viewing the video of any pattern you are seriously considering knitting. Let's take a look at the 28 patterns in this issue, shall we?
#1, Double-Breasted Vest. This isn't bad. It actually looks much better with the collar lying down than standing up as it is here. My one complaint is that it looks so uneven along the bottom front.
#2, Preppy V-Neck Vest. I rather like this one, which seems like a mod version of a fair isle vest.
#3, Sleeveless Turtleneck. This is a fairly standard but attractive and wearable piece.
#4, Oversized Sweater Vest. I don't care for this one. I rather like the texture, but the shape and cut plus the bulkiness make this an item that will look frumpy on most women.
#5, Zippered Vest. This one gets points for originality, but isn't quite successful. The back waist detailing is cool, but that longer back hem really isn't working well and looks heavy and bulky in motion. I would cut this one down to hip length and keep the front and back hems the same length, or very close to the same length.
#6, Tunic Length Vest. This... isn't bad. It does look a little like a converted afghan, but I will say it's a very cool afghan. It's definitely for a wearer with very modern, bold taste.
#7, Moto Coat. I quite like this one. The lines and collar are so good. It will not look good worn open, but damn does it look good zipped up.
#8, Moto Vest. Not as big a fan of this one. It worked much better as a shorter jacket, with a full collar and sleeves.
#9, Traditional Moto Jacket. I very much like the lines of this jacket, but don't think the choice to go two tone adds anything at all. I'd knit this all in one colour, or maybe in a slightly variegated colour.
#10, Ribbed Yoke Pullover. I wasn't thrilled with the pictures of this one, but it pleasantly surprised me by appearing very wearable and flattering in the 360 degrees video. It's good to know that those bat wing sleeves "disappear" when the wearer stands with her arms by her sides.
#11, Open Cardigan. I thought I did like this cardigan (I can never resist a green and teal combination, and this one's gorgeous) until I looked at the 360 video. The cardigan appears meticulously constructed, and yet it lies in a way that will frump up most wearers. Unless you tend to always have a hand free to clutch your clothes in place, I'd give this one a pass.
#12, Short Sleeve Jacket. I bet there were ancient peoples who wore garments cut like this one. I'd like to think we've learned a little something about how to cut flattering garments since, say, the Mayans.
#13, Deep V Hoodie. This is cute and sporty. I like the lines of the hood and neckline. But I would fix the dropped shoulders and join the ribbing at the bottom.
#14 Colorblock Socks. Not a bad pair of socks, but I can't say I care for the toe split. They remind me of cloven hooves, and worse, might lead to "socks and sandals" occurrences.
#15, Slouchy Hat. Nice hat. It has an interesting texture.
#16, Colorblocked Gloves. Not a bad-looking pair of gloves.
#17, Puritan-Collar Pullover. I'm pretty sure the Puritans would have put the designer of this in the stocks for a day, and I'm not entirely sure it wouldn't have been warranted.
#18, Top-Down Raglan-Yoke Cardigan. This looks like someone sewed some swatches randomly together. And it's making me very glad I don't swatch.
#19, Drop-Stitch Poncho and Armwarmers. I think I can get behind this poncho, which could look cute on the right person and with the right outfit, but not the armwarmers. Jeez, if you need more coverage than the poncho will give you, wear a coat instead of trying to piece it out with silly accessories.
#20, Wrap Front Shrug. Sometimes I complain that a design looks too afghan-like. This one looks too baby blanket-like. All that wrapping and rippling just isn't flattering or attractive.
#21, Ombre Capelet with Bow. I don't know why it is that shrugs often have a "shrunk in the wash" look while capelets, which offer the same amount of coverage, look sufficient unto themselves, but any rate, this little faux fur capelet is quite pretty, and even elegant.
#22, Shaped Capelet. Pattern #22 and pattern #23 are designed to be worn together, and I am impressed with how well they just nestle together and become one when worn, although I think I might like this little capelet better without the addition of the scarf.
#23, Keyhole Scarf. The Keyhole Scarf worn by itself. It manages to become a sassy evening accessory with the addition of a brooch and a feather.
#24, Ruby Cowl. Faux fur yarn might just have found its destiny in the cowl.
#25. Love this afghan. I just wish there were a better shot of it available so you could see it in a way that does it justice.
#26. This floral-themed textured throw is nice too.
#27. Gorgeous, just gorgeous.
#28, Mobius Cowl. This is rather pretty and fun, and if you're new to fair isle it's a way to do fair isle without committing to an entire sweater or socks, which need shaping.