Although this summer didn’t end up being a repeat of the freewheeling summers in late- 1960s America, as some had hoped, brands like Tache Clothing and Wild Orange Tree have been selling hippified, sleeveless crochet dresses and loose crochet crop tops. These flowy knits, in vibrant oranges, purples and greens, wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Haight in 1969.
“Our customer definitely is always seeking an element of nostalgia,” said Madeline Sensibile, manager of content and partnerships at Lisa Says Gah, an e-commerce site out of Los Angeles and San Francisco that sells a slew of crochet pieces. Some of its most popular items include amusingly quaint tank tops made from vintage granny squares by the Series, a small company out of New York. Shoppers are “always looking for that playfulness in their outfits,” said Ms. Sensibile. “It’s the idea of getting something that’s vintage, but also reworked for now.”
Some fans of the look have even taken to crocheting themselves. A couple of years ago, Ella Dixon, 23, a cheesemonger who lives in Rockaway, N.J., taught herself to crochet via YouTube. She’s since turned the hobby into a business, generating around $400 a month selling various crochet goods including cardigans and tanks through her own website. Though some pieces take her around 60 hours total to make, Ms. Dixon cherishes the diversion. “I usually crochet before work, after work. I crochet nonstop,” she said.
At-home crocheters like Ms. Dixon sparked what Marian Park, the strategist for trend forecasting company WGSN, called “the craftcore” movement. This trend is led by young, DIY-driven folks who’ve embraced the magical, time-passing powers of knitting and crocheting. (The most famous fresh-faced knitter is Tom Daley, the 27-year-old British swimmer who knit in his spare hours between winning medals at the Tokyo Olympics.) Making one’s clothes, or even buying from small, homespun crocheters like Stahl Knit, also satisfies a desire to be environmentally friendly. Ms. Dixon referred to crochet as “slow fashion,” a painstaking process that represents a deliberate alternative to faddish, low-quality fast fashion.