Did you know Chico’s started as an art gallery? Nearly thirty-five years later, we continue to take our artistic roots very seriously. Our designers are inspired by the world around them, near and far, from the pattern of leaves against the sky, to classical motifs. Here we share the back story about one of fall’s most stunning sweaters.
Eye catching, colorful, and breathtaking, stained glass is both an art and a craft. Its design requires a clear creative vision and its construction requires the skill to turn that vision into a reality with the materials at hand. The best stained glass has lasted centuries, a marvel of architecture, color, and structure. It was that which inspired our sweater designer in the conception and execution of this amazing sweater.
Sparked by the stained glass windows and architecture of medieval churches, the cardigan is full of intricate details and embellishment. Our designer first laid rows of Jacquard ribbons, choosing ones with metallic threads, anchored with burnished gold studs and metal trinkets, that recall the colors of light filtering through the windows. Then she skillfully started planting sparkling rows of elongated black and silver bugle beads, scattering in faceted jet black and blue galaxy beads. There are two crest motifs, similar in shape to the more elongated ocular style windows of the Baroque period. Made of velvet, the patterns are appliquéd and adorned with more metal trinkets, beads, and sequins.
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Take a look at how the final design looks against the drawing. Slide the bar left to right to compare the real sweater to the drawing.
With such intricate work, it was important for the cardigan to have enough structure to hold its shape. The designer chose a 12-gauge double knit Milano stitch, so that it would feel substantial, and beautifully bear the light weight of the beadwork.