As we approach the final quarter of 2022 and head into autumn, the hunt for warmer clothing begins. Here at Colhay’s we’ve been working on some new products perfect for the change in season. First up, we're introducing the Cashmere Belmondo Rollneck.
This flattering and remarkably soft rollneck sweater is made from 100% 2 ply cashmere and is inspired by the trends created by the actors of the French New Wave in the 1950s and 60s. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo was one of the movement's champions and was often seen in such a rollneck, hence the name of our version.
With the emergence of the French New Wave movement, came a shift from smart to casual wear as the norm. Prior to this, it would be normal for men to wear a suit day to day. Actors such as Belmondo challenged this by wearing rollneck jumpers underneath jackets which was considered back then, an act of rebellion and is to signify their wider resistance against the establishment of the time in all forms of artistic expressions. These new styles coincided with new ways of filming, capturing the candidness of daily life which hadn’t been done before. It was a rich time culturally with filmmakers taking risks which, whilst rebellious, had a clear artistic direction and weren’t different simply for the sake of being different. There was a strong sense of self, confidence in one's own expression and style at this time, something we have tried to encapsulate with our latest sweater.
Left: Jean-Paul Belmondo at the Cannes Festival, 1964
Right: Jean-Paul Belmondo in a navy rollneck
The rollneck sweater is now very common, with many variations available on the market today. We’ve kept our design as close to the original as possible with the aim of bringing back the elegant rebel feel of the movement.
Wearing a rollneck sweater
Many men are apprehensive about wearing a rollneck, feeling as though it is a statement piece and that they’ll stand out from the crowd more than they’d like. Framing the face and isolating the jawline, the rollneck can be a flattering garment and we’ve taken further steps to make our version even more elegant. The rollcollar itself is tall and the body of the sweater tapers from the chest down to the hem which gives it a more fitted look, whilst also avoiding being skin tight. The tapering also means there’s minimal excess fabric bagging around the waist. We’ve found a delicate balance between being too tight and too baggy which translates to a sweater that’s flattering on all body shapes. When it comes to the arms, we’ve made the armhole slightly higher, again, helping to avoid a baggy look. We’ve made sure the armhole isn’t so small that it’s restrictive though, meaning the sweater is cosy and comfortable to wear.
As with all of our pieces, the colourways have been carefully considered. As mentioned above, our goal is always to make the wearer look flattering and elegant, but without drawing attention of the wrong kind to oneself. And so as always, we’re offering colours that are muted yet tasteful and sophisticated. Shades of brown, navy or wine that are darker, more masculine - colours that are difficult to find anywhere else. The sweater comes in black, oatmeal, navy, dark brown and wine - all colours which are likely to complement items already in your wardrobe too.
The Cashmere Belmondo Rollneck is easy to wear, working well with tailoring for a different take on formalwear, and equally well under a casual jacket.
Scottish made knitwear
At Colhay’s we believe in quality. At the very heart of Colhay’s is the desire to bring back the culture of buying quality items and making them last by investing time and attention to caring for them well. Good design achieves one part of this; another incredibly important aspect is the craftsmanship. For us, it is essential that our pieces are produced by people with knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication to the practice and, for this reason, we work solely with knitters in the Scottish town of Hawick. In Hawick, knitting is a respected craft handed down through the generations and our small team of knitters are experts in their craft. Throughout the design process, we work with our knitters to ensure that they only employ techniques that will contribute towards a quality piece of knitwear. Some practices used by the knitters we work with have been abandoned by other manufacturers in favour of saving time. We believe that, although time-consuming, these techniques lead to superior quality knitwear, which is our primary goal.
Perhaps the most fundamental piece of the knitwear puzzle is the raw materials. Good design and expert construction means little if you’re not working with quality yarn. This sweater is made entirely from 2 ply cashmere which we source from revered yarn mill Todd and Duncan, also based in Scotland. Cashmere is very much a widely sought after fibre - it’s soft, cosy and warm, yet lightweight and breathable too. We use the very highest grade of cashmere, which maximises all of these qualities.
Our cashmere is made from the fibres of the coat of a particular breed of goat that lives in the Himalayas. These goats have adapted to the very cold climate, resulting in this uniquely soft and wonderfully warm fleece. Todd and Duncan select only the finest and longest fibres. The finer the fibre, the softer the yarn and the longer the fibre, the stronger the yarn. As a result of prioritising these properties, the garments made from Todd and Duncan’s cashmere are both supremely soft to the touch and unusually durable. With the correct care, these garments will hold their shape properly and are much less likely to pill. If you wanted to, these garments could be handed down through generations and have the potential to become heirloom pieces.
Shop our Cashmere Belmondo Rollneck in each of the available colours below, or view all of them here in our Cashmere Collection.