Crochet On The Runway

Submitted by Regev on Sat, 03/20/2021 - 18:00 CET

As people who crochet on a daily basis, for us crochet never really goes away. However, it terms of worldwide fashion trends, crochet seems to come and go every few years. Every now and then, it is back "in style" and suddenly you can see it in various forms on all the high-fashion runways and even find it in a ready-to-wear form in stores all around.
Whether it is just some new twist or ironic look back at the old-time favorite "Granny Square", or a whole new refreshing idea, it always makes me happy to see crochet on the runway. If you like it too, I invite you to join me as I take a look at some of the inspiring creations models we wrapped in over the past few years.

Haute Couture
Haute Couture is a fashion category which include garments constructed by hand from start to finish and made of high-quality, expensive and often unusual or unconventional materials. It is sometimes even costume-looking or bizarre. When incorporating crochet into this sort of fashion, you can expect to find extravagant pieces of free-form crochet, hyperbolic crochet, appliques in bright colors or exaggerated sizes and their likings. Haute Couture fashion is normally something you only see on runways and is mainly used as inspiration or to give a statement by a designer. Most of these pieces wont be seen walking down the street, but some of them might walk a red carpet or two.

  • Francis Montesinos
    Francis Montesinos is a leading brand in the world of fashion, with more than 45 years of uninterrupted activity and its own artistic identity. The brand's haute couture pieces are designed, adapted and produced with meticulous attention to every detail, which turns the dresses into unique and exclusive collection pieces. There are crochet, knit and lace-work designs incorporated in almost each one of Montesinos's runway shows.
    One specific runway show which is worth mentioning is the one presented by the brand in the Spring-Summer 2013 collection, shown on Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2012. The collection included pieces for both men and women in bright colors and bold designs. There were tops, pants, swimwear, bags, headpieces and gowns made entirely in crochet or a mixture of crochet and other fabrics.
    His fall-winter collection for the same year included a very large number of crochet items as well, this time in dark colors and dramatic combinations. It featured some evening wear looks like non others and was very inspiring for crocheters who like to create wearable outfits.
    Watch the full Francis Montesino Spring/Summer 2013 show here.

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 2012: A model walks the runway in the Francis Montesinos fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid Spring/Summer 2013 at Ifema on August 31, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Freeform Crochet top featured in the Francis Montesinos fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid Spring/Summer 2013

  • Kenzo
    Kenzo is a French luxury fashion house founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada. It is known for its Asian influence on traditional European styles. You can find couture crochet and knit designs in most of their runway shows, and those are very often extravagant and eye-catching. Absolute show stoppers. This isn't too surprising, considering the background of the founder, who peaked in the fashion world during the 70's - the crochet golden age.
    The designs range from free-form to geometric crochet shapes in a huge verity of colors and textures. From sweaters, to cardigans, to dresses and gowns and all the way down to the tiny accessories, crochet makes an appearance on all fronts.

PARIS - MARCH 2008: A model walks the runway wearing the Kenzo Fall/Winter 2008/2009 collection during Paris Fashion Week on the 1st of March 2008 in Paris,France. (Photo by Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty Images)

Crochet Beachwear on Kenzo 2006 Spring/Summer collection

  • Matty Bovan
    Matty Bovan is a young up-and-coming New-York based designer and founder of his own label. He studied Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins, then he completed an MA in the same subject, graduating in 2015. As one might expect, his designs, which are often referred to as "wearable art" feature plenty of crochet and knit work. He works crochet into his designs in unique ways, sometimes as a sculptural statement piece and other times as a layered accessory. In the past, he has worked with Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu. 
    Matty Bovan’s studio operates in a sustainable way in that his main focus is dead stock fabric, end of line materials, and yarns, as well as studio off-cuts.  He works diligently to limit any waste, and endeavours to keep production local, working closely with his factories, visiting them regularly and ensuring they are operating best practice working codes.  Many of his accessories and clothing hardware feature found items and re-appropriated objects, which highlight these unique elements. 
    Watch a full fashion show by Matty Bovan here.

Sculptural crochet statement - Matty Bovan

Wearable Art - Matty Bovan

  • Julien Macdonald
    Julien Macdonald studied Fashion Knitwear at The University of Brighton. After graduating he furthered his education studying for his MA at London’s Royal College of Art. His graduation show in 1996 caught the attention of  Karl Lagerfeld, who hired Macdonald as Head Design of Knitwear for Chanel and for his own personal label.  Macdonald worked for both labels for two years before launching his own eponymous label. In 2001 Macdonald was named British Fashion Designer of the Year which followed with his appointment as Creative Director at Givenchy. In 2004 Macdonald left Givenchy wanting to concentrate on his own label. In 2006 Macdonald was awarded an Order of the British Empire, a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, for his services to the fashion industry.
    Given his area of expertise , it is only natural that crochet and knit elements are common in his designs and present on each of his runway shows. His designs are also often worn by celebrities on red carpets around the globe.
    Watch the full Julien Macdonald Spring-Summer collection show here.

Crochet and knit wear featured in Julien Macdonald's Spring-Summer 2020 collection

Sexy red crochet mini dress with dramatic long sleeves - Julien Macdonald's Spring-Summer 2018

Crochet dress by Julien Macdonald - Spring-Summer 2020 Collection

Ready to wear high fashion
Ready-to-wear is the term for ready-made garments, sold in finished condition in standardized sizes. These are the kind of clothing items and accessories you'll be able to find in stores or online web-shops of a certain brand.
Casual crochet separates as well as evening wear, beach wear and accessories are often incorporated into mass-produced season collections from the top brands. Be it bohemian-inspired festival wear, laid-back summer styles or high-fashion styled maxi-dresses, shrugs and cardigans - crochet has its part in all of them. It can have sophisticated and modern silhouettes, or everyday slouchy form. Crochet is, as we know, very versatile, and the big trend setters know it!

  • Chloé
    Chloé is a French luxury fashion house founded in 1952. Chloé has boutique shops all over the world and is beloved by many fashionistas and celebrities. The brand is known for creating feminine womenswear, cult-favorite It bags, and playing host to runways filled with supermodels. When they put a crochet item on their runway, you ae sure to see it EVERYWHERE.

Trumpet sleeved neutral-toned crochet dress by Chloé

  • Ulla Johnson 
    Ulla Johnson is the founder and creative director of her own clothing line, which she started in 1998. In the past few years it's become a go-to label for colorful, bohemian staples. She makes prairie dresses you'd actually want to wear, imbued with a modern, feminine sensibility. The brand has a few boutique shops, as well as an online shop with world-wide shipping options.

Hand Crocheted Granny Square Apron Dress by Ulla Johnson

  • Altuzarra
    Joseph Altuzarra is a luxury women's ready-to-wear clothing designer. He launched his brand, Altuzarra, in New York in 2008. His brand is influenced by his multicultural upbringing and his international education in fashion. Talking about his brand, Joseph said "My mission is to design a modern wardrobe for women to feel confident and sexy in their everyday lives".
    Altuzarra's spring 2020 collection featured some high-end Instagram-worthy crochet pieces which were very quickly embraced by trend-setters and high-fashion loving celebrities.
    Watch the whole spring 2020 fashion shoe here.

Crochet Striped Dress from the Altuzarra 2020 collection

Crochet on the red carpet
Even if you're not a fan of runway shows, there's one kind we all love to watch, the kind called "The Red Carpet". A red carpet is traditionally used to mark the route taken by heads of state on ceremonial and formal occasions, and has in recent decades been extended to use by VIPs and celebrities at formal events.
Every award ceremony, film festival, gala or big premier has its own version of a red carpet, which is essentially like a runway show. The question "who are you wearing?" - referring to the designer of the garment worn by a celebrity - is one we all recognize.
I always get excited when I spot a well known celebrity rocking a crochet garment on the red carpet. Who among us wasn't tempted to take a closer look to figure out how such garment was made? Do I know that stitch? Can make this myself? That's indeed an awesome feeling, isn't it?
Here are some examples for the best crochet red carpet looks:

Katie Cassidy wearing a crochet dress by Catherine Malandrino at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards

Megan McKenna leaves little to the imagination in a backless crochet gown at ITV Palooza 2019

Taylor Swift Wears a Sheer Crochet Dress by Julien MacDonald at the Golden Globes After-Party 2014

Missi Pyle in a black crocheted gown on the 2018 Golden Globe Red Carpet

Hailee Steinfeld in a multicolored woven embroidered mini dress by Balmain at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

Jennifer Lopes in a sexy crochet dress by Julien MacDonald at the Billboard Latin Music Awards 2017

It's always fun to spot crochet items on the runway, whether it is couture or ready-to-wear, be it a show costume piece, a resort outfit, accessory or an everyday sweater, it always makes me smile. It is inspiring for me as a crafter and as a designer. These unique, extravagant and out-of-the-box designs spark my imagination and infuse me with motivation to create. I hope you feel the same, and that you enjoyed exploring the runways together with me.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.