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Item of the week: the crochet knit

By Rachel Douglass

Oct 5, 2022

Fashion

(From left) Image: Madewell, Na-kd, Desigual

What it is:

Crochet’s roots are fairly unclear, with some research suggesting the technique could have derived from ancient Chinese needlework, while others claim it originated in Arabia or indigenous tribes in South America, and eventually spread to Mediterranean countries. Its initial place in fashion, however, was most prominent in the 60s and 70s, when homemade crochet knits became more refined and readily available. Its current resurgence is largely due to the pandemic and the rise of DIY experimentation among consumers, with many taking on knitting and crocheting as new hobbies while being stuck at home. The lifestyle trend has made its way into fashion retail, as a fun fashion option for the summer months.

Image: Molly Bracken

Why you’ll want it:

This fun knit alternative provides something a little different for the adventurous shopper, and while often considered knitwear, its structure allows for it to be used throughout each season. It is particularly popular during festival season, as its lightweight and open feel can keep the wearer cool while also keeping them on trend. Additionally, its current place in fashion is due to, in part, the ongoing trend in DIY crafts which came to fruition during the pandemic. The trend has slowly shifted into high fashion collections and has contributed to the ongoing restoration of craftsmanship’s importance within fashion.

Image: Desigual

Where we’ve seen it:

Boho crochet was a specifically favoured part of the AW22 season. Etro led the way in its bohemian collection, in which colourful crocheted two pieces and knitted flared pants brought some texture to the runway. Gabriela Hearst also opted for bold tones, in panelled sets utilising intricate crochet techniques. Similar two pieces were a prominent part of the Acne Studios collection, which offered up skirts, tops and cardigans in the experimental style. Chanel displayed an alternative crochet technique for its pre-fall 2022 collection, in a chunky knit four piece outfit with each item in a matching purple hue. AGR’s take on the crochet trend was even more bold, with the brand showing rainbow coloured knits as part of its acidic clubwear collection.

Image: Stella McCartney

How to style it:

When looking at festival or summer attire, crochet items work well with either contrasting materials, like leather or denim, or can be placed with matching pieces in a co-ord set. As items can be see-through, use skin coloured underwear or undergarments to achieve a natural effect. For colder months, crochet can be layered with other pieces to accommodate the weather. For example, a strappy crochet top can go over a thicker, turtleneck knit. The same can be said for a crochet dress, for which an underlayer provides a bit more protection from the outdoors.

Image: Anotherwoman

Crochet, with its long history and influence on craftsmanship, plays an important part in fashion, especially at this moment when DIY techniques are so prominent in manufacturing. It provides shoppers with a fun alternative to the usual knitwear and can remain relevant all year round.

Image: The Kooples

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.

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