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The Trendlet: Ecru Crochet

July 18, 2016

This boho-chic hallmark is a summertime staple yet again.

THE TRENDLET

Basic bikinis, chic cover-ups, beach bags, halters (and their funky cousins, bralettes) are lighter, airier and beachwear-perfect this summer when fashioned from ecru-hued crochet. Even wide-legged trousers are getting into the loopy-stitched action.

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Crochet is the French word for "small hook," but the textile-making technique was first used by Scottish peasants in the late 18th century to make hats, bonnets, and scarves, as well as collar and bonnet trim.

From the late 1800s through the mid 1900s, women crocheted more for function than fashion. Occasionally, ladies carried drawstring crocheted pouches. However, as the middle class began valuing department-store products more than homemade ones, the technique disappeared.

In the 1960s, fiber artists who remain promoters of the art-as-fashion movement began crocheting trendy clothing. Enter the A-line crochet dress. These mod looks were popular with well-dressed working girls like Twiggy and Mary Tyler Moore.

The porous knit pieces came in and out of style until the early 2000s. Then, they cycled on and off the fashion scene every two years or so especially in the summer.

A couple of things happened: Shoppers craved unique pieces, and all things handmade (or had the appearance of being handmade, i.e. Free People and Madewell) were in demand. Websites like Etsy have helped crafters reach a wider audience. Music festivals have turned crocheted bikini tops and cutoff shorts into a standard warm-weather uniform.

WHO IS WEARING IT?

Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Miley Cyrus, and every girl looking to to show a little skin while retaining a somewhat angelic vibe.

SHOULD YOU WEAR IT?

If you feel a white crochet dress would be too unforgiving, follow your instinct. Instead, opt for the knit cover-up over a sleek, black one-piece.

 

 



McClatchy-Tribune Information Services