The IT item for Spring 2017 according to this month's magazine selection is the cropped Fendi sweater. They were the darlings of that season's runway show. You will see it on the covers of Elle magazine modeled by Shailene Woodley and InStyle with Gwyneth Paltrow.
Go Fug Yourself mocked the knit top as the "worst" among other details of the Rosie Huntington-Whitley cover (not surprising). Did they have a point, though?
As a non-model body type who fits all types of bodies as a technical designer, this sweater, while editor-friendly is a nightmare in real life. It's safe to assume that both the runway models and cover celebrities are rocking bodies no bigger than a size 0. They still have skin, though, and a ribbed knit band on its own would likely be very tight to fit the rib cage they way it does in the photo or be stretched or not tight enough in real life to fit this way. Any deviation from the sample fit model could go either way. Of course, with a cover photo shoot, you can pin as needed and Photoshop as needed. When you wear this sweater for more than a photo, be prepared for any all variations!
My sketch above represents various turnouts this sweater could have, even on a size 0. If your bust doesn't fill the knit to cup the top bodice correctly, you could get a stretched hem effect. The ribbed band could hang loose after the first wearing. Even a size 0, if the tension of the sweater knit is too tight to cup the body, if could just squeeze your skin to give a bulged effect. Third, depending on the height of the fit model, you could be taller or shorter than the body proportions the sweater intended. That means that ribbed band could hit you right above the ribcage and feel awkward or right AT the waist instead of above, adding extra bulk on top of your pant waistband, while losing the original design intent of the sweater altogether.
This review is not to put down the designer of this style. All of fashion design has to make these considerations when developing the collection. The reason this particular garment makes good press is precisely because it takes so many risks that many manufacturers don't want to take on. Mass retailers demand "bra friendly" "generous waists" and less sexy designs to appeal to the most shoppers, directly contradicting what looks great on the runway or magazine.
In the end, every customer has to decide whether the Spring 2017 Fendi Cropped Sweater is for them. The variables of the design and high end luxury label limits the customer base. No doubt, fast fashion companies are preparing their version before I finish writing this, and the quality will be much worse. If the original doesn't have the problems I cited, you can bet the bargain, low rib count knit will.
Sketch by Mariana Leung