Of everything non-crochet I noticed in the spring ‘15 NYFW shows, this trend — which I almost dubbed “I could make that!” but then remembered how much I hate when people say that — was my favorite. It might not have been the biggest, most overt trend going, but there was more than enough of it to make me notice. 
Designers getting crafty yet again — but this time, with stuff normal people might have on hand and could conceivably create their own versions of. My absolute fave, hands down, was the Perler bead necklaces at Libertine. I like the look of anything pixelated (or as I think of it, cross-stitched), and these blew my mind. P.S. if you follow that link to the official Perler bead website (yes, that’s what those beads you lay out and then iron into place are called), you’ll see that a) actual kids’ Perler bead game is tight and b) they have an app to help you create designs, if graph paper is too low-tech for your taste. 
The Libertine show also boasted the two other crafty staples that showed up elsewhere — pompoms and jumbled beads. Pompoms! Aside from some risqué fur pompoms at Betsey Johnson, they were all yarn pompoms, too! M Missoni had them on flip-flops, as edging, and at the ends of drawstrings. Trina Turk had them edging a hood. Both Libertine and Jeremy Scott applied pompoms liberally to everything, including menswear. I feel like the Rayban-style sunglasses haphazardly adorned with a rainbow of buttons at Libertine also deserve a special shoutout. 
Jumbled beads — especially plastic ones — is another look that’s just fun. It’s also one where having an actual grade schooler make you a necklace may get you the purposefully disorganized look you want, since when grownups try for that it usually winds up looking planned. Jeremy Scott went crazy with the plastic beads, mixing in all kinds of charms and trinkets and turning them into everything from shoulder-dusting earrings to crowns. Polo Ralph Lauren showed the more upscale version — mixed glass beads. I also kind of fell in love with the one Parsons MFA student (I don’t know which one! Sorry!) who splashed his or her garments with gobs of gumball-looking beads. Okay beads that look like delicious candy probably aren’t child-safe, but that’s why I said this stuff looks like kiddie crafts, not that it is crafts for kids. 
Time to go get me some Perler beads….

Of everything non-crochet I noticed in the spring ‘15 NYFW shows, this trend — which I almost dubbed “I could make that!” but then remembered how much I hate when people say that — was my favorite. It might not have been the biggest, most overt trend going, but there was more than enough of it to make me notice. 

Designers getting crafty yet again — but this time, with stuff normal people might have on hand and could conceivably create their own versions of. My absolute fave, hands down, was the Perler bead necklaces at Libertine. I like the look of anything pixelated (or as I think of it, cross-stitched), and these blew my mind. P.S. if you follow that link to the official Perler bead website (yes, that’s what those beads you lay out and then iron into place are called), you’ll see that a) actual kids’ Perler bead game is tight and b) they have an app to help you create designs, if graph paper is too low-tech for your taste. 

The Libertine show also boasted the two other crafty staples that showed up elsewhere — pompoms and jumbled beads. Pompoms! Aside from some risqué fur pompoms at Betsey Johnson, they were all yarn pompoms, too! M Missoni had them on flip-flops, as edging, and at the ends of drawstrings. Trina Turk had them edging a hood. Both Libertine and Jeremy Scott applied pompoms liberally to everything, including menswear. I feel like the Rayban-style sunglasses haphazardly adorned with a rainbow of buttons at Libertine also deserve a special shoutout. 

Jumbled beads — especially plastic ones — is another look that’s just fun. It’s also one where having an actual grade schooler make you a necklace may get you the purposefully disorganized look you want, since when grownups try for that it usually winds up looking planned. Jeremy Scott went crazy with the plastic beads, mixing in all kinds of charms and trinkets and turning them into everything from shoulder-dusting earrings to crowns. Polo Ralph Lauren showed the more upscale version — mixed glass beads. I also kind of fell in love with the one Parsons MFA student (I don’t know which one! Sorry!) who splashed his or her garments with gobs of gumball-looking beads. Okay beads that look like delicious candy probably aren’t child-safe, but that’s why I said this stuff looks like kiddie crafts, not that it is crafts for kids. 

Time to go get me some Perler beads….


Steel yourselves for a season of fashion editors repeating variations on the phrase, “not for shrinking violets.” Floral is pretty tried-and-true (especially for spring), but it stuck out to me because it’s pretty much the opposite of the dark neutrals (olive, rust, mauve) and excess of suede and leather that was also all over the place, notably at Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, and Derek Lam.
I also noticed it though because flowers were done so many different ways, in terms of the techniques that were used to create the flowers and/or the handmade stuff they resemble. On the flatter end of things, you’ve got florals that look like watercolors (Erin Featherston), letterpress prints (Karen Walker), and … hmm … upholstery? (Alice + Olivia). Moving beyond 2D, there were loads of shows featuring embroidered (Oscar de la Renta, Nicole Miller) or appliqué (Betsey Johnson, Vivienne Tam) flowers. The white suit above by Pedro del Hierro really stood out to me — it’s covered in crewel work. That transitions us to the world of fully 3D flowers, represented at Michael Kors (fabric?), Jenny Packham (beaded), and more. 
So yes, given how many of these borrow the look of (or the actual technique of) different crafts, probably you should also gird yourself for fashion editors’ overuse of the phrase “not your grandma’s,” which really has already been done to death.
Also I should point out that of course there were crocheted flowers (only 2D motifs though… hmm), but I’m trying to branch out and round up the other handmade-inspired looks. You can get your fill of the crochet of fashion week from me on Pinterest.

Steel yourselves for a season of fashion editors repeating variations on the phrase, “not for shrinking violets.” Floral is pretty tried-and-true (especially for spring), but it stuck out to me because it’s pretty much the opposite of the dark neutrals (olive, rust, mauve) and excess of suede and leather that was also all over the place, notably at Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, and Derek Lam.

I also noticed it though because flowers were done so many different ways, in terms of the techniques that were used to create the flowers and/or the handmade stuff they resemble. On the flatter end of things, you’ve got florals that look like watercolors (Erin Featherston), letterpress prints (Karen Walker), and … hmm … upholstery? (Alice + Olivia). Moving beyond 2D, there were loads of shows featuring embroidered (Oscar de la Renta, Nicole Miller) or appliqué (Betsey Johnson, Vivienne Tam) flowers. The white suit above by Pedro del Hierro really stood out to me — it’s covered in crewel work. That transitions us to the world of fully 3D flowers, represented at Michael Kors (fabric?), Jenny Packham (beaded), and more. 

So yes, given how many of these borrow the look of (or the actual technique of) different crafts, probably you should also gird yourself for fashion editors’ overuse of the phrase “not your grandma’s,” which really has already been done to death.

Also I should point out that of course there were crocheted flowers (only 2D motifs though… hmm), but I’m trying to branch out and round up the other handmade-inspired looks. You can get your fill of the crochet of fashion week from me on Pinterest.


Okay, so I officially got way too into NYFW this year. While obsessively combing the runways for crochet, I couldn’t help but notice loads of other trends (drab 70s neutrals, wintry fabrics [especially leather] for spring, graphic black-and-white prints, kimono-style dresses and prints, and huge amounts of ladylike lace separates worn with nothing underneath). Some of them struck me as definitely handmade inspired — if not, as in this case, crochet inspired — so I decided to compile them. 
POWER MESH is everywhere and then some — I grabbed these looks, but everyone from Lela Rose to Custo Barcelona just showed mesh, mesh, and more mesh. Many of these looks owe more than a little to filet crochet! Still, none of the above looks are crocheted — the Thakoon Addition skirt comes closest, but it’s knit.

Okay, so I officially got way too into NYFW this year. While obsessively combing the runways for crochet, I couldn’t help but notice loads of other trends (drab 70s neutrals, wintry fabrics [especially leather] for spring, graphic black-and-white prints, kimono-style dresses and prints, and huge amounts of ladylike lace separates worn with nothing underneath). Some of them struck me as definitely handmade inspired — if not, as in this case, crochet inspired — so I decided to compile them. 

POWER MESH is everywhere and then some — I grabbed these looks, but everyone from Lela Rose to Custo Barcelona just showed mesh, mesh, and more mesh. Many of these looks owe more than a little to filet crochet! Still, none of the above looks are crocheted — the Thakoon Addition skirt comes closest, but it’s knit.


crOchetMG

Had to share another astonishing New York Fashion Week crochet dress. This one is from M Missoni (the slightly-less-insanely-expensive Missoni line). People — by which I mean fashion editors and bloggers — tend to refer to virtually anything Missoni that is knit and has any sort of holes/texture as “crochet,” but this look is REAL CROCHET. And it’s SPECTACULAR.

As you can see from my frantic pinning, this collection had loads of crochet (including more colors and varieties of straps for their ever-present crochet bobble bags). This look wins for me though. The construction on this dress is amazing. The way the top is made — stitches coming down from each shoulder to meet in the middle on the diagonal — is genius, and creates so much visual interest. The skirt really gets me, too — again, the narrower sections of stitching create body-conscious vertical lines, but added stitches in the wider sections creates an ultra-flattering A-line silhouette. Style.com lets me zoom in pretty close, but I’d love to see this in person to get a good look at that stitching (I just want to know if the non-working fibers are being carried). Also! Love the waistband, which is just sc. It’s such a basic stitch that it’s easy to forget that yeah, when you do plain one-row stripes like that, you wind up with little diamond shapes. 

This look also features accessories with two handmade-inspired trends that are looking big for spring — pompoms (yes, pompoms — see the edging on the purse?) and big, bold flowers. 

Seriously you guys. At first this season I wasn’t seeing too much crochet (admittedly, loads of crochet inspired stuff), but the more shows that go up, the more crochet hits the runway. 


NYFW Crochet

These days, I don’t think of myself as especially into fashion — I work from home so I mostly just wear whatever’s comfortable (right now vintage men’s tank top touting some place in California I’ve never heard of and a pair of booty shorts I bought at Urban Outfitters roughly 10 years ago, and I’m in no danger of showering). Even when I do leave the house, it’s not that much better — usually just jeans, one of my 80s metal tees, Birkenstocks, mascara, maybe eyeliner if I’m really going out

But then Fashion Week rolls around, and it’s like STOP EVERYTHING. Time to scour the runway shows to see what fashion designers are doing with crochet. This season (Spring 2015), it’s not a huge amount, but crochet’s influence is everywhere. Lots of structured, filet crochet-esque mesh, and tons of freeform machine lace that’s like a less impression version of Clones lace. Also despite being the spring collections, there are knits everywhere — lots of colorwork and intarsia. I also did work myself into a bit of a lather over the interesting construction of a Tory Burch top that hit the runway the other day. But then I saw THIS:

WOW. WOW. WOW. There is so much to love about this dress it’s hard to begin. Okay before I begin, it’s from the Oscar de la Renta RTW collection. But okay let’s begin. The fit is amazing, but it’s the construction that just blows my mind — filet crochet transitions into freeform motifs, and then back into filet. The floral motifs break up the filet for pops of color and added interest, but each one is nicely integrated into the filet by having a final outline of sc in the same white as the filet. The lopsided poppy motifs are almost too much for me — it’s one of my favorite flowers, it echoes the most iconic Marimekko print, it creates amazing contrast. The leaves, the yellow flowers, the couple of all-white motifs that ease the filet-to-full-on-flowers transition — this dress just blows my mind. I can’t believe it’s the only piece in the collection that uses this technique (though OdlR has shown freeform crochet in the past). 

I’m going to be obsessing about this dress for the foreseeable future. In the meantime though, if you’re interested in seeing what crochet styles dig up during NYFW (and all year round, from celeb pics to mass market merchants), follow my Fashionably Crocheted board on Pinterest.


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I put a lot of energy into writing this (it’s not just a “don’t you already own 5 black sweaters?” kind of list), because it’s something I feel really strongly about. I advocate buying used clothing, and if you have the means, buying clothing that is handmade or ethically made. And yes, ruining shopping for used clothing for me is reason #9 I hate these stores — but the 8 I’ve got here are more important.

Also, if you want to learn more about where your clothing (and other goods) come from, I highly recommend the books I cite in that piece:

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Elizabeth L. Cline)

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster (Dana Thomas)

and most of all, even though it’s mainly not about clothes but mostly because it will cure you of ever shopping at IKEA:

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture (Ellen Ruppel Shell)


I am so happy and humbled that this post has gotten the most shares of any of my Lifehack posts so far. Puff even beat Louis C.K.! 

It was really bittersweet for me writing this post — sadly, there’s a reason I’ve been in such a reflective mode about Puff. Her health has been failing recently. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure not too long ago — her heart is, literally, two sizes too big. It means not only does her heart have to work extra hard, but because it’s taking up so much space, her lungs are compressed, making it difficult at times for her to catch her breath. She’s a fighter, and we’ve managed to make things more comfortable for her with medications, but it’s been tough.

I was worried the site wouldn’t publish this post because it’s relatively personal (“I” rather than “you”, for the most part), but I am grateful they did, and it really makes me happy that it’s received some attention. 

And now, to end on an extra happy note, here’s a bonus pic of Puff and Rico.


I’m so excited to have one of my first-ish crochet projects featured on the very cool Illuminate Crochet site! Check out the link for fabulous content including original patterns, stitching tips, interviews with fiber designers, and oodles of Remix Friday features. Thanks so much to Sara for reaching out to me and featuring one of my projects!


Summer Sample Sale!

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My studio is a total disaster area — seriously, it’s like an avalanche of yarn and wrestling action figures — so in the hopes of clearing some space, I’m clearing out my inventory of crocheted goods! Check out the sale section of my Etsy shop for discounted, ready-to-ship handmade crocheted friends. Every single one of these guys is ready for a new home, and the item you see in the pictures is the exact item you’ll be getting. It’s all first quality (it’s not like, sample sale of “slightly irregular” items or anything like that), I just need more room. (Did I buy more yarn today? Uhhh technically yes.) Head over and check it out!


Pinworthy Crochet

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I have been branching out into a new gig (actually, technically new gigs, because yes, I guess I don’t already have way more than enough to keep me busy!). But in any event, the one I’m talking about here is contributing to a site called lifehack.org. My favorite article that I’ve done so far is one that I conceptualized and pitched myself (rather than taking an assignment) — 5 Ways to Use Pinterest to be More Productive

I was reluctant to use Pinterest for a long time, mainly because I wasn’t really sure what it was, and I had social networking fatigue. Once I finally started, wowzers — I use it almost every day. And it’s completely different from other social sites. Yes, I follow people I know, but in general, I mainly use it to curate stuff I’ve found on the web. (Also, like in my article, I do totally have a bunch of private boards that help my husband and I get stuff done.) 

Having Pinterest on the brain (even more than normal) got me wondering what my most popular pins are — what’s got the most repins, to be specific. My public boards are almost all crochet, so when it comes to crochet, what are the people digging? (Or, I mean, pinning.) Let’s have a look!

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The Pin: Knit earbuds from Anthropologie

My Caption:Technically these Anthropologie earbuds feature a knit covering, but it would be SO easy to DIY this by working single crochet around your cords! Might have to try it with one of the zillion spare pairs of iPod/iPhone headphones I seem to always have lying around….”

Repins as of Now: 252

[Note: Yeah somehow, this pin just blew up! These aren’t available from Anthropologie anymore, but the gal who actually makes these sells them in many colors in her Etsy shop, CasePhile]

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The Pin: Anonymous Coachella festival-goer in a crochet tank dress, from Harper’s Bazaar

My Caption:Coachella and crochet go together like … Coachella and crochet! Face it, it’s a festival staple. (2014)”

Repins as of Now: 163

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The Pin: Paparazzi pic of Taylor Swift at the Ventura County Flea Market, via the Daily Mail 

My Caption:How have I not pinned this already?? Taylor Swift wears a vintage crochet dress while antiquing in Ventura (Jan 2012)”

Repins as of Now: 150

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The Pin: Autumn Cashmere filet crochet card seen at Revolve 

My Caption: ”Edgy filet crochet! And the colorway is called “Glow worm” — can you even try to resist!? (Autumn Cashmere Crochet Skull Sweater)”

Repins as of Now: 136

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The Pin: Colorful ombre hair pic from Cosmo

My Caption:A sexy neutral crochet dress (by Anna Kosturova) pairs perfectly with this edgy hair (it’s temporary chalk color!) Cosmopolitan July 2013”

Repins as of Now: 110

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The Pin: DIY Cross Stitch Pegboard from WhimseyBox

My Caption:Tutorial for a gorgeous storage solution! For your dream craft room… (DIY Cross Stitch Pegboard)”

Repins as of Now: 108

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The Pin: Vanessa Hudgens fashion shoot for Cosmo

My Caption:In a Coachella-inspired shoot for Cosmopolitan (April 2013), Vanessa Hudgens shows once more that she’s pretty much the celebrity ambassador for boho-style crochet (top by Anna Kosturova).”

Repins as of Now: 56 (But I have to include this one, since it was this and another pic from the same issue of Camilla Belle that got me started using Pinterest!)

P.S.: How much do I not love that Pinterest no longer gives you the embed option? The only way you can automatically share these days is Facebook. Puh-leeze!