Anatomy of a trend by Christine Boland: crochet, knotting & macramé
Jul 20, 2021
In ‘Anatomy of a trend’ trend analyst Christine Boland anatomizes a specific trend worth keeping an eye on.
For SS22 there’s a major role for (wearable) arts and crafts - think crochet, knotting, braiding, macramé, weaving and twining. But not just in your typical 70’s bohemian style. These artisanal open-worked techniques are put into a new context by uniting them with modern materials, innovative technology and digital (colour) influences. For example at Fendi they used rattan - a material traditionally used for furniture - as textile design for their techno white shoes and knitwear, transforming something seemingly incompatible into modern wearable designs. Hence the design language term ‘recontextualised traditional crafts’.
Thanks to the pandemic we've seen a rise in all things handmade, not only in fashion but also in interior design. This has brought about a renewed interest in traditional techniques used for and evolved over centuries by indigenous communities who live close to nature. Not surprisingly, their intricate craftsmanship - such as knotting, braiding, weaving and twining - form a major inspiration for the SS22 fashion collections. By mixing these artisan techniques and handcrafted creations with hightech materials, the resulting designs showcase a very modern take on century old textures.
In this totally elusive, intangible digital (phygital) world there’s a strong need for things that are tangible and apparently handcrafted. Handmade and irregular forms are viewed as having a ‘soul’, and therefore deliver that much needed homely, cosy touch to a design. The greater the texture the more tactile the end product. Popular for accessories, such as bags and hats, as well as for the total look. Crochet and the other open-worked techniques are the perfect solution for adding such interesting sensory texture.
Important influencers are found in architecture and interior design, for example product and interior designer Marcel Wanders, architect Patrick Keane and artist designer Aurelie Hoegy. Not to forget the Loewe X Wallpaper basketry exhibition in Milan during Salone del Mobile 2019, where the Spanish luxury brand asked eleven master weavers to create limited edition objets d’art using Loewe leather. Valentino, Fendi, Kenneth Ize and Ella Emhoff’s (Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter) knitwear collaboration with Batsheva Hay can be seen as important pack leaders. But arguably maybe an even bigger role is to be given to last years’ crafting hype seen on Pinterest, Instagram and even Tik Tok.