The origins of the Christmas Jumper.
It was a long time ago when the first Christmas Jumper first appeared on the fashion scene. Now a Retro Clothing staple, adorned by countless Indie fashionistas and Vintage knitwear fans, The Retro Christmas Jumper is a must have article of festive attire.... but just how did it all begin?
The Christmas Jumper was invented by David Bowie sometime between 1967 and 1969. Pre space Oddity Bowie would often experiment with different ways of expressing his artistic abilities.
Crocheting a series of festive themed place mats to bedazzle artisans and contemporaries who would pass through, under and over his kingdom like kitchen and dining table, Bowie would stumble upon a novel idea.
After careful consideration, and discounting the application of seasonal decoration on motorcycle visors, Bowie suddenly remembered he was wearing a jumper. A dreary and drab affair with a plain weft knit technique devoid of multi colour yarns and with one sleeve slightly longer than the other, the jumper was a thorn in Bowie's creative thought process.
Constantly on the periphery of his visions, lingering and niggling away at the back of his mind, especially at Christmas when there was a greater chance of receiving another such sweater from a distant relative, Bowie had made up his mind. He would set about creating his Christmas masterpiece as a way of expelling the creative drain that was his plain knitted pullover.
Assembling the finest festive palette he could muster, and an array of yarn so seasonally impressive, Bowie would later concede he received and discarded several children's letters that had been addressed to Santa c/o David Bowie, the North Pole. The letters, received in error due to the excessive Christmassyness of Bowie's seasonal threads were caused by the Elf Postal Service misrouting children's Christmas lists to what they assumed must be Santa's new grotto. This became in its own right a legend of folklore.
Suffering for his art and inevitably the future enjoyment of the whole of mankind, Bowie at one stage stitched his wrist to a collection of finest haberdashery erroneously situated next to his right hand.
Over the course (and wales) of the next few days and night, the design would take shape. Then on the eve of the twelfth night as Minute by minute, purl after purl passed, a crowd began to band together all awaiting the birth of a miracle. Proclaiming he was only just half way through his design, the crowd dispersed, vowing to return on the eve of the 24th day.
The jumper was hard work, and affording himself a sombre and reflective moment, Bowie took a short break to write down his thoughts::
"..... Festive to Festivey, we all know my knitting in the round's clunky. Strung out with yarns high, knitting an all time low"
... This would later contribute to another of Bowie's song writing successes.
A closely guarded secret, the exact pattern of the extravagant Christmas knit was source of great speculation. Some discussed the notion that the jumper would feature a detachable Christmas pudding bonnet, others that it would harbour a device for storing diabolo sticks (a speculation treated with contempt and derision by many notable experts who argued that the diabolo was an out of date pastime). The truth was that not even david Bowie himself was sure what the finished article would look like. The intricacies of his original pattern had proved too difficult to interpret into knitted form so a degree of artistic improvisation was employed.
It was at this point that Bowie went into a trancelike state, claiming in 1988, that when he eventually came round some three days later, what he saw was like 'Christmas come early'. Nearly completed, and with a renewed vigor Bowie says of this time:
"I was nearly finished before I started knitting, then I started knitting and then I was nearly finished, but this time in a positive way, so I booked some time out in the studio."
On the eve of the 24th day as the crowd re-assembled, but now ten fold bigger, Bowie proclaimed, 'Merry Christmas Mr Torrence', and as the crowd looked around to see the famed Mr Torrence, a sea of blank faces soon turned to faces of realisation that it was probably Mr Lawrence Bowie had intended to greet.
'"What we have here is no ordinary knitwear garment, what we have here is no ordinary intarsia, what we have here my friends is a Christmas Jumper. Hold it dear to your hearts brothers and sisters in Blighty, friends of the world, friends not of this world and acquaintances from outer space."
Bowie had stamped his mark on the fashion world and before turning his back on garment manufacture for good, before embarking on a hugely successful career in both music, film and as a silent partner in vegetarian cuisine, Bowie would unveil the masterpiece.
A seasonal red knitted jumper featuring a three legged reindeer and a snowman with a reindeer's leg for an arm.
The closest the famed sweater came to actually seeing the light of day was in 1977 when Bowie unearthed his knitwear gem to an astonished Bing Crosby the day before they would duet on Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth. Crosby wiping away a solitary teardrop from the corner of his eye would later tell Bowie that the moment had moved him so much that his customary round of 18 hole golf was downsized to just 2 putts at the local crazy golf course. However, privately he was incensed at the prospect of been upstaged and requested a restraining order be placed on the offending article an a bounty placed on it's luxurious crew neck. Bowie accepted the decision and vowed to donate the garment to the V&A museum.
....and so it was that by Christmas 1979 the whole world was in awe of the Bowie creation and the David Bowie Christmas Jumper Experience incited a frenzy so great that it was even suggested that pets would soon be able to dress in festive attire. From it's humble beginnings in the late Sixties (some say '67, others '69), the Christmas Jumper had come a long way. Intricate fair isles, intarsia patterns and even experimental lighting features had made the decade a time to remember. From what had started out as a small cottage industry had suddenly grown into big business, a business that still thrives today....
.... and we owe it all to David Bowie.
The rest is history......
An elaborate rouse, a tale of fan fiction, or a biographical account of the rise of the Retro Christmas Jumper, the answer matters not... all we need know is that the Christmas Jumper is an icon of festive cheer and jolly good fun for the Christmas Holiday Season.
To view some Bowie-esque festive Christmas Jumpers check out some of the fab festive designs on sale at Atom Retro Clothing. There's an array of seasonal Vintage inspired garments awaiting your perusal. Retro Christmas Jumpers to brighten up any Christmas occasion.
To view the whole collection then see the Atom Retro Christmas Jumpers Collection
For a sneaky look at some of our Retro Christmas Jumpers then check out the following designs. Looks like Reindeer 'Frosty' Snowman Jumper Christmas Ski Jumper Nordic Winter Jumper Maldini Gabicci Vintage Run Rudolph Run Reindeer Jumper Zidane Gabicci Vintage Polo
Don't forget to order your Retro Christmas Jumper early. They tend to sell out extremely fast... and you want to make sure it arrives in plenty of time too! Order now online at AtomRetroThis is of course a fictional history of the traditional Christmas Jumper, written for your entertainment! It is not true and not intended to cause offence.