November 11 2009
Lucia van der Post
You would have thought it would be hard to do something different with knitwear, but a new Parisian label, Eric Bompard, seems to have done just that. I came upon it while wandering round the Left Bank of Paris a few weeks ago when I was stopped in my tracks by a grey cashmere sweater with a brilliant trompe l’oeil double necklace and bow worked into the wool (picture one, £198). It had all the sleek elegance of a grey sweater with added Parisian élan. I looked further and there were all sorts of other woolly pleasures: a sleek cardigan with just one of the borders embellished with a long line of glitter (£314) – enough to lift it from austerely elegant to wittily elegant. Wherever I looked, potentially severely chic knitwear had, with the lightest of touches, been turned into something infinitely more desirable.
A finely outlined glittery penguin was delineated on one sweater (£162), another was enlivened by a little placket with three buttons (£228), each one beautiful and entirely different from the others. While most of the colours are quite sober, illuminated by quirky bits of glitter or trompe l’oeil, the collection is enlivened by a few great slabs of colour and a brilliantly striped V-necked sweater (picture two, £162). Eric Bompard hasn’t forgotten the men or the children – there are lots of very cute, very chic little numbers for the small set, as well as some nice masculine numbers for the men. Cashmere is Bompard’s speciality, but there are some that are a cashmere and wool mix.
And the good news, for Londoners at least, is that you don’t have to go to France, where there are branches all over the country, to track them down, as there’s now a branch on London’s King’s Road. And for everyone else, there’s also a website.