Craft Porn: In 2017, Quilting, Knitting, and Needlepoint Were Hot Trends on the Runways

Designers have been reacting to political upheaval with lots of art, and craft, this past year. Besides Jeff Koons’s Masters Collection for Louis Vuitton, there were references to Giuseppe Arcimboldo at Comme des Garçons and to Niki de Saint-Phalle at Dior. If you prefer your art on the wall, rather than your body, there were other pieces with homespun charm. The aesthetic that seems to best capture out times is a crumbly one that evokes grandmother’s handmade sweaters and camper’s DIY projects. Suddenly, smocking, quilting, knitting, and needlepoint are à la mode.

But these age-old crafts are being practiced in a new way in 2017. By leaving hems unraveled and threads uncut, designers seem to be plugging for authenticity (vs. fake news) and drawing attention to the various and traditional hand skills that are part of their training. This come-undone effect is not easily come by, by the way; take Alexander McQueen’s dresses with Victorian sampler-style embroideries trailing threads or Stella McCartney’s ’70s channeling macramé-strapped bags. Here, a celebration of the craft of fashion.

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