Behind The Style: The Artisan Cardigan

Did you know Chico’s started as an art gallery? Nearly thirty-five years later, we continue to take our artistic roots very seriously. Our designers are inspired by the world around them, near and far, from the pattern of leaves against the sky, to classical motifs. Here we share the back story about one of fall’s most stunning sweaters.

Eye catching, colorful, and breathtaking, stained glass is both an art and a craft. Its design requires a clear creative vision and its construction requires the skill to turn that vision into a reality with the materials at hand. The best stained glass has lasted centuries, a marvel of architecture, color, and structure. It was that which inspired our sweater designer in the conception and execution of this amazing sweater.

Sparked by the stained glass windows and architecture of medieval churches, the cardigan is full of intricate details and embellishment. Our designer first laid rows of Jacquard ribbons, choosing ones with metallic threads, anchored with burnished gold studs and metal trinkets, that recall the colors of light filtering through the windows. Then she skillfully started planting sparkling rows of elongated black and silver bugle beads, scattering in faceted jet black and blue galaxy beads. There are two crest motifs, similar in shape to the more elongated ocular style windows of the Baroque period. Made of velvet, the patterns are appliquéd and adorned with more metal trinkets, beads, and sequins.

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Take a look at how the final design looks against the drawing. Slide the bar left to right to compare the real sweater to the drawing. 

With such intricate work, it was important for the cardigan to have enough structure to hold its shape. The designer chose a 12-gauge double knit Milano stitch, so that it would feel substantial, and beautifully bear the light weight of the beadwork.

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23 Responses

  1. Lauren

    This cardi arrived yesterday. Absolutely gorgeous. I work in Washington DC and will wear this as part of a smart work outfit with the navy pants.

  2. Nora Grossman

    I was in the art business full time, still do some part time work, and this is stunning. The pricing is incredibly fair for hand embellishment. Thank you, Chicos. Nora

  3. Robin Dimitris

    I am plus size, and I bought a 3 it is stunning, I will wear this to work with navy and black Juliet pants, and jeans. I will get plenty of wear out of this gem. I also, used my 50% coupon it was a bonus all around..

  4. Helen Irby

    Saw this cardigan had to have it.During the Baroque Period the Visual and Performing Arts became highly embellished. This item beams to that period.??????

    1. Ann Sinclair

      I want to buy this cardigan and can’t find it online. I put the name of it in the search line. Nothing. I put the product number in. Nothing. Extremely disappointed.

  5. Karen

    This item appears in the teaser emails and on the first page of the web sale. But I do not see where to order. Is it still available?

  6. Liz

    I think they are having problems with their website as I have not been able to place an order for the whole week…I also would to order this cardigan….

  7. Chico's

    Hello all,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write. We’ve had a amazing response to our Embellished Elektra Cardigan, Style 570186749. Although this beautiful style is now sold out online, a limited number may still be available. Please contact customer service at 888-855-4986 to ask it it can be located in one of our boutiques to ship directly to you. Thanks!

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