21 Jul JOHN MACARTHUR AND HIS PURL HARBOUR
There’s definitely something special about Bondi icon John Macarthur, a self-confessed leftover hippie, and the legendary Purl Harbour. However, as we know in life, all good things must come to an end. After decades perfecting his craft in his studio, conveniently nestled in our shared hometown of Bondi Beach, John Macarthur is moving on.
I had a peak into Macarthur’s studio last weekend to ensure I wasn’t missing out on any of his iconic hand made pieces! Picture walls covered in his editorial features and shelves stacked with knitted garments in every shape, colour, size and design. I walked out with not only a one-of-a-kind knit but also a story that needed to be shared.
Purl Harbour started out as a label at Sydney’s Paddington markets selling a signature knit in one style, but it wasn’t long before John Macarthur had himself a 5 page spread in Vogue – “Purl Harbour came into existence pretty much by accident as you can see,” he says.
The concept behind Purl Harbour was to knit pieces that looked at least 20 years old, worn out, often too big and out of trend. Despite all of John’s efforts, fashion editors and stylish customers rush to his Bondi studio to hand pick one off cardigans, sweaters and scarves that have been hand crafted on location.
Readers – it’s not too late! You still have time to check out Purl Harbour, however I do recommend calling ahead before you venture to my side of town to make sure John’s there. Purl Harbour’s studio is located a few minutes walk from the beach, and he likes to swim… a lot.
John Macarthur’s knits have graced the pages of Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. They have been worn by Kim Basinger, Liam Neeson (on the cover of Vanity Fair) and Cindy Crawford. Julia Roberts visited his shop but didn’t buy anything (Macarthur didn’t realise who she was until after she left).
Having been described by RUSSH Magazine as “The Great Bondi Prophet,” and praised by Nadia Jones, Marcs‘ creative director, as a “true artist,” I think it’s pretty safe to say that John Macarthur has created a legacy for his timeless knits that will forever remain irreplaceable.
Check out how I styled my knit below. And don’t miss out on this one, ladies and gentlemen!