29 Nov 2016 |
With Christmas just around the corner, we are offering 7 lucky readers the chance to win 1 of the retro jumpers featured in the aptly named Retro Jumpers book by Simone Bennett - along with a signed copy of said book to give you some much needed fashion tips. To enter the draw to win this amazing prize, visit our Facebook for all the details.
As a retro fashionista, Simone Bennett fossicks and scrounges for all sorts of vintage items – but her passion is sweaters. There are many names for these long-sleeved garments that bring us so much joy: jumpers, pullovers, woolly body-huggers. If there were no sweaters, then where would we be? Cold, topless and depressed, with no way to express our love of retro style. Retro Jumpers showcases a collection of ensembles inspired by the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s when frankly, everything was better. Fashion was fun, music was great and women knew their place.
Simone tells us her inspiration behind this very serious and important look book.
I bought my first retro jumper ten years ago at an outdoor market. It was a textured, woolly work of art featuring a swag of Aussie icons like kangaroos, boomerangs, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Uluru. That winter I hosted a retro jumper party and everyone’s kitsch knits came out of the closet. My sister wore a purple fluffy number with two taxidermied possum paws sewn onto the front. It was truly horrendous. But the best jumper of the night was awarded to a mustachioed fellow sporting a jumper which boasted a bright bird of paradise adorned with sequins. He went home with the meat tray.
So why buy a retro jumper? The same reason you buy a pair of fluro Reebok Pumps, or a telephone shaped like an ear of corn – because they are camp and hilarious and significantly improve your quality of life. But any keen thrift shopper will understand the struggle of finding that perfect vintage sweater. You can fossick and scrounge through dozens of thrift stores and come up empty handed. We live for that magic moment, when after digging through a bargain bin full of stained cargo pants and musky nightgowns, you find the holy grail of knitwear – a mint condition Cosby sweater for under 10 dollars.
Retro Jumpers showcases a collection of woolly wonders in all their bedazzled, shoulder-padded, bat-winged glory. It’s a celebration of chunky cable knits, patterned pieces and novelty op-shop finds. Some are so loud you’ll barely be able to hear yourself think. Fetching ensembles are modeled ‘Awkward Family Photos’ style by a bunch of my sassy pals, and accompanied by hilarious captions. There's also thrift-shopping tips, dance breaks and jumper-centric retro advertisements for things like video dating and a Sizzler-style family restaurant. This quirky compendium really is the perfect gift for the retro fashionista or nostalgia nerd in your life.
As projects go, it doesn't get much better than this. This book was a pleasure to work on, and I’m thrilled that it’s out there being enjoyed by fellow jumper enthusiasts. In my mind I see a family sitting by the fireplace on Christmas morning, all wearing retro sweaters and passing this book around. They laugh heartily, and then suddenly break into a joyful rendition of Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic.
Simone Bennett is a Melbourne-based creative who formally trained as a graphic designer, but since graduating has branched out into a variety of creative fields including art direction, animation, illustration and now writing. Simone’s passion for all things retro and kitsch has resulted in this book! When she’s not pushing pixels, you’ll find Simone thrift shopping for retro knick-knacks, dancing to ‘80s synth-pop or eating obscure snacks and then reviewing them on the internet. Simone is so fashionable that she has not 1 but 2 Instagram accounts. Follow her on both for witty quips and snide asides.
@simone_bub_bennett and @snackreview
Retro Jumpers will be officially launched at Acustico in Brunswick - 32 Union Street to be precise - on Thursday 1st December from 6-8.30pm. See the Facebook page for more deets.