Ah, the St, John knit. If I had to narrow it down, I would have to say that St. John was probably my mothers favorite designer. My mother had a collection of these knits that I believe would rival that of the fashion house itself. My mother began collecting them in the 70's and continued until her passing. That being said, I have inherited a myriad of these pieces, including the St. John ensemble she wore to my wedding, which I may never be able to part with. What I find interesting about this jacket, is what a striking resemblance it bears to a Chanel jacket. I know that this was a piece from the 70's, and I am so intrigued about which one came first- the chicken or the egg?
I need to do more detailed research on the silhouettes, but I did do some research on the knits themselves, in case anyone was curious. It is true, they are very easy to wear, and hold up extremely well.
St. John In order to stretch her own limited wardrobe budget, Marie St. John made her first pure wool knit dress on a flatbed knitting machine in 1962. Her then-fiancé and salesman Bob Gray pitched her designs to department stores and got an order for 84 dresses on his first try. St. John Knits took off quickly, appealing mostly to a clientele of mature career women who preferred a classic look.
Later, Marie Gray wanted to use a new yarn blending wool and rayon and despite the mill’s warning that the blend wouldn’t take colour well she created a successful blend that was resilient and didn’t wrinkle. Her blend was called ‘Santana’ yarn and soon her garments were made of the new blend, eventually accounting for 75% of all sales under the St. John label.
Stay tuned, there will indeed be more from this oeuvre!