Sarah Lund, the slightly tired and rumpled looking female detective in the popular TV adaptation of The Killing, has become an unlikely fashion inspiration. Her series of chunky, 80s esque swiss chalet style jumpers have become so popular that there is even a website devoted to her knitted apparel. Check out http://www.sarahlundsweater.com for further details.
Apparently this choice of costume for the character was chosen by the actress Sofie Gråbøl who plays Sarah. Sofie explains in an interview with The Guardian:
“We had a costume meeting and I saw that sweater and thought: ‘That’s it!’,” she says, despite the jumper being decidedly unpolice-like. “The reason it’s so perfect is because it tells so many stories. It tells of a person who doesn’t use her sexuality – that’s a big point. Lund’s so sure of herself she doesn’t have to wear a suit. She’s at peace with herself.”
The jumper itself is not Danish like the TV drama but in fact is manufactured on the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands lie to the north of Scotland, equidistant from Iceland, Scotland and Denmark. Faroese knitwear is very traditional, with jumpers being worn for totally practical purposes – to keep people warm through the harsh Winter. Undyed organic wool from hardy northern Faroese sheep is used. The black wool for the pattern actually comes from black sheep – it isn’t dyed. Organic wool is not just warm, it is lightweight, breathable and hypoallergenic. The jumper itself is hand knitted with every single one being unique.
Well, a hand-knitted, organic wool jumper shipped from an island in the middle of the north atlantic isn’t going to be cheap, is it? Furthermore,making the Sarah Lund sweater is not a folksy cottage industry. It is designed and produced by fashion knitwear brand Gudrun & Gudrun, who just happen to be based in the Faroe Islands. G&G are quite rightly proud of their design and have protected it by pursuing a rigorous legal campaign against those who would produce “knock-offs” or “look-alikes”.
Going back to Sarah Lund, you can tell that this woman means business. There is no stress or worry about what she should wear when she jumps out of bed and rushes to get ready to go to a crime scene or pursue a suspect. In fact, she has the jumper in a multiple of colours. Instead of “Joseph and his coat of many colours”, we have “Sarah Lund and her jumpers of many colours”.
So for all those people who cannot get this designer knitwear…here are some of my picks from the high street:
- H&M Jumper
A super affordable version of the Sarah Lund jumper, however a word of caution that sometimes these jumpers do not last long as pilling occurs. However, for something which might be worn for a season, it is a good buy. You can buy this in stores or online.
- M&S Jumper from the Indigo Collection
Another super affordable version of the Sarah Lund trend, probably a bit too colourful if you really want to be a true Sarah Lund wannabe. Also the wool is definitely not as thick so does not give the chunky feel that the Sarah Lund jumper has. The fit is also a bit baggier but it does mean that you can add layers underneath. However, still another option and it will keep you warm too!
- White Stuff Juniper Jumper
Similar in colour and style to the Sarah Lund jumper but not as chunky. This is a great interpretation of the trend and with the White Stuff brand being synonymous with the outdoorsy lifestyle, it is in keeping with the spirit of the original jumper. Available in White Stuff stores or John Lewis stores or online.
John Lewis has actually reported a massive increase in such jumpers and attribute it to the “Sarah Lund effect”. Personally, I love the idea of practical fashion so definitely applaud the popularity of such jumpers, especially if you are living in a country with cold Winters (UK – take note!) However, for me personally, chunky jumpers are not that flattering on me. They make me look rather bulky and I lose all definition around my waist. A thinner jumper which is fitted around my waist helps to maintain my preferred “hourglass” silhouette. Also, as it is Christmas, I probably would prefer a cheerful festive jumper such as this: