In 1981, Prince Charles married Lady Di and among the official wedding gifts sent to the then-happy couple was a pair of Jenny Kee koala and kangaroo hand-knitted jumpers. Based on the children’s book character Blinky Bill, the koala knit was one of Kee’s most popular designs.
In 1982 a pregnant and ‘windswept’ Princess Diana was photographed by the English press wearing her chunky bright blue ‘Blinky’ jumper and a pair of red trousers at a polo match.
The image went viral, as did another photograph of Diana wearing a Muir and Osborne ‘one-black sheep-in-a-flock’ jumper (ironically revisited by French fashion house Chloe seen below in 2009).
Diana’s witty knits, sparked huge demand for copies amongst her international fashion followers. Kee was asked to design a ‘Blinky Di’ pattern for Australian Women’s Weekly readers to whip up at home, while Muir and Osborne sold 500 of their hand-knitted sheep sweaters in less than five months.
And, as of April 2015, the Blinky Di pullover, seen above, is being redesigned for a new era of trendsetters. Jenny Kee’s “Koala” just never goes out of style!