Claudia Skoda’s knitwear revolutionised fashion in 70s Berlin

Claudia Skoda on the roof of fabrikneu wearing a knitwear ensemble from the collection “Shake your Hips”, 1976 © Claudia Skoda

In the early 1970s, German fashion designer Claudia Skoda joined an experimental Berlin collective. Based in an abandoned Kreuzberg factory, their studio space, the ‘fabrikneu’, loosely resembled that of Andy Warhol, with a revolving door of cool upstart weirdos: a model who posed for Helmut Newton, an artist who would go on to gain international recognition and a percussionist for the band Tangerine Dream and Iggy Pop, to name a few. Claudia’s speciality, however, was something one might consider a little less anarchic: knitwear.

Entirely self-taught, Claudia began playing with a flatbed knitting machine in the late 1960s, when she couldn’t find the kinds of clothes she wanted to wear anywhere else. Though knitting isn’t necessarily a medium one associates with counter-culture, Claudia designed

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5 creatives making knitwear that’ll brighten up your winter

If the icy cold weather, or indeed Bernie’s mittens, have stirred something within you and inspired a sudden urge to invest in knitwear, well, same. While the inauguration’s fashion icon went for a traditional brown and cream pair of Fair Isle gloves — hand knitted by a local teacher from repurposed wool, no less — we’re after something a little more fun, something colourful, something to lift the spirits even more than the adorable image of a cosy US senator transposed into tens of thousands of amusing situations. A hard task.

Breaking tradition, the designs we’ve selected are not by recent graduates. Their creators didn’t all study at top fashion colleges. Instead, the five individuals are united by a DIY approach to knitwear that shines through in the at-times imperfect, playful pieces they dream up. In fact, many of these multitasking multi-hyphenates work predominantly in other areas of the

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