The nostalgia for wartime knitting inspired Martin Margiela‘s military sock sweater, a contemporary garment that owes much to the aesthetics of wartime austerity and also features in the Unravel. Knitwear in Fashion exhibition. Margiela’s sock sweater from the early 1990s reflects his fascination with deconstruction, but also celebrates wartime knitting as the ultimate do-it-yourself clothing project. However, his use of fashion to reference the role of knitting in war is achieved without sentimentality.
Neither does he think much of trade secrets, clear from his published instructions on how to ‘Make your own Margiela sweater…’ By referencing official instruction booklets on wartime knitting, Margiela shows an interest in the ways in which clothing becomes entangled in historical events. A clever comment on the status of socks as wartime comforts, the sock sweater reflects on how clothing became part of war experience.
A step-by-step guide to making your own version of the Margiela sock sweater also featured in A Magazine curated by Maison Martin Margiela in June 2004, which is also published online. (Scroll to pages 93 to 95.)