Crochet and macrame fashion trend

From ship’s ropes carefully knotted and tied by the hands of crafty sailors, to the crocheted blankets your grandmother gifts you at Christmas… macrame and crochet will likely be familiar to you in some sense. For spring 2011 both make a strong return; but forget the homemade craft feel – as a 2011 fashion trend it’s all about intricacy, quality and a luxury edge.

Read on to find out more about crochet clothing and macrame as trends, including the differences between the two and inspiration for key pieces and accessories.

crochet maxi dress
Crochet maxi dress at Emilio Pucci, SS11

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Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration
Heavy and holey: fashion inspiration

Macrame

What is macrame?

No doubt you already have a picture of crochet pieces in your head. When it comes to macrame, think of a similar visual finish, but with a big difference in the piece’s construction: macrame is made by knotting the main fabric to great visual affect. It’s a craft most often associated with 19th century sailors, who made all kinds of macrame objects in their spare time – with shipping rope, or from leather, yarn, twine or other sturdy materials. For those who lived through it, macrame was a trend in homewares back in the 1970s – think wall hangings and pot-plant holders (the likes of which your parents or relatives may still be hoarding from their younger days.)

What macrame is being used for in 2011

Macrame is mostly used for accessories and objects; because it’s constructed of knots it can be bulky and have little stretch to it. Nevertheless, 2011 sees it used on clothing and accessories alike.

Because it can often have a very open weave, macrame is 2011′s perfect accompaniment to beachwear. Just have a look at the examples from Gucci and Christian Dior below – an open-weave macrame dress is ideal for layering over a bikini, monokini or bodysuit.

macrame as beachwear
Macrame at Gucci, SS11

Other examples of macrame in 2011 are better for daywear, or even eveningwear, as well as for accessories (more on accessories below).

Crochet

What is crochet?

Crochet isn’t knotted like macrame; it’s made from loops of yarn, created using a single hooked needle. Hence, it’s very delicate but not so delicate as to be a lace. Nonetheless, crochet is closely tied to the current lace trend with the two clothing trends overlapping overlapping. For the purpose of this article we’re defining crochet as the heavier, 70s inspired examples as opposed to more delicate crocheted lacework. Thematically the look of crochet in 2011 is closer to that of macrame.

Macrame and crochet: styles in 2011

Both crochet and macrame in 2011 rode in, partially, on the wave of a 1970s revival. This was reflected in the colour palette dominating the spring / summer 2011 runways: earthy tones, browns and oranges, creams and whites. Pieces are based on hippy, festival chic inspirations, but overall the aesthetic is still luxurious with a modern sense of refinement.

crochet granny squares
70s inspired dress and granny square bag at Ferragamo, SS11

Macrame in particular also heralds in a subtle nautical revival, seen as well in the naval-inspired stripes and numerous pairs of wide-leg sailor pants gracing the runways. Do think luxury nautical though; the kind you’d be seen wearing on a yacht in St Tropez. It should be elegant, sexy, and unfussy.

nautical macrame
Nautical-inspired macrame at Dior, SS11

Crochet and macrame accessories

For spring 2011 your options for adding this trend to your wardrobe are ample; including a variety of accessories. Woven shoes (like those at Prada and Gucci) are perfectly now; and even more perfectly in line with the look are the intricate sandals seen at the likes of Jen Kao and Malandrino.

macrame sandals
Malandrino’s SS11 macrame sandals

How to wear it: crochet and macrame

We’ve already mentioned that the main thematic inspirations behind the trend are the hippy seventies and the early sailors of the seven seas. But what to pair your pieces with specifically? Here are a few key looks you can create with macrame and crochet in 2011.

boho macrame
Boho fringing at Roberto Cavalli, SS11

  • Look for pieces the end in exaggerated fringing, a la Roberto Cavalli (pictured above) for a high-impact boho luxe look.
  • Pair a crochet top or vest with an updated pair of bell bottoms and a floppy felt hat for a look that’s straight out of the ’70s yet oh-so-now.
  • Many a crochet bikini is available, though perhaps not the most practical garment for swimming they can work brilliantly poolside or under a pair of denim shorts in Summer.
  • Bring the tribal trend of previous seasons into 2011 with macrame pieces in earthy colours paired with tribal prints.
  • Go ultra modern and sexy with a stark, minimalist take like Julien MacDonald’s white mini-hemmed crochet dress (below).

sexy crochet dress
Julien MacDonald, SS11

Images: style.com

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.