Victoria's Crochet Fashion Week Diary
by Victoria Sahara Banda
The second Crochet Fashion Week took place in Queens, NY August 11-13, 2023. Over 30 international designers created collections encapsulating this event’s theme, A Stitch in Time. After speaking with CEO Deltra Perryman and hearing her passion for crochet, I knew this event was one-of-a-kind. We all know the fiber industry skews to the knitting side so to see a crochet-specific fashion show with modern and artful pieces… it was a no brainer. I had to be there both for myself and on behalf of Furls Crochet and Crochet Foundry.
The weekend began on Friday with the Accessory Extravaganza! Six designers showcased creative and beautifully crocheted accessories that went beyond typical scarves and hats we are used to seeing. The fun textures and colors wowed the engaged audience and gave a taste for the rest of the weekend. Accessory Extravaganza showed just how fashion forward crocheted accessories can be.
Doilies and granny squares are beautiful and continue to take their well-deserved space in the crochet community however crochet can be so much more. The variety of accessories ranged from timeless matching handbags and neckwear to futuristic textured coverups and shawls. Each designer brought their meaning of A Stitch in Time while keeping the audience anticipating the next piece to come down the runway.
A highlight of the night was DimpleMoses’s sleek collection of handbags that mixed crochet with clear plastic panels and eye-catching hardware. Along with her beautiful Timeless collection, DimpleMoses also crocheted the Crochet Fashion Week backdrop which consisted of over 100,000 stitches!
Crochet Fashion Week day one was a success and I couldn’t wait to spend the rest of the weekend meeting amazing crocheters and enjoying over 15 more designer’s creations across Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a Man’s World
Ha! And for once I am not mad at it! It’s a Man’s World - Featuring Men Designers and Men’s Designs was day two of Crochet Fashion Week and it was SO fun to see this side of crochet. The mix between men’s wear and designs by men was refreshing and brought something different to the crochet-industry table. The designs ranged from coordinating outfits, beachwear, to garments that could be stylishly worn by men, women, and non-binary folx.
I also got to meet a Crochet Foundry favorite, BNHO Crochet, who showcased four Caribbean-ready designs on Saturday. I can confirm: Shawn is the nicest person ever. Read our interview with him in the August 2023 issue!
We all offer a unique perspective to the creations we make so seeing the diverse designs on the runway designed by men and/or for men was special. We can appreciate masculine garments while also seeing how having more gender-neutral designs is also important.
A crowd favorite (including me) was Garee Creations (with two ‘e’s because he is extra like that). With ten pieces closing the show, his designs wowed us. Garee’s designs had a perfect balance of creativity and wearability. All of his pieces were modelled by men and they looked fantastic. However the best part about them was that most of the designs really could be worn by anyone of any gender. It’s the beauty of crochet being for everyone!
A successful day two ended and everyone was buzzing for Sunday’s big finale.
A Stitch in Time
Sunday had the biggest crowd and everyone was excited to see the beautiful designs hit the runway. I was also super excited because I knew I was going to meet Mrs. Deveter. It’s always a funny feeling meeting someone you feel like you already know. It was super happy getting a big hug.
With over 15 designers lined up the seats were full and the show began with Stringfellow Crochet. I had met Sharon the first night and so I was waiting to see her collection. She did not disappoint! Playing with textures and silhouettes, Sharon designed a range of garments and full outfits that you would see at a resort all the way to a formal event. The cherry on top was having some family members model the designs.
The collections that continued to go down the runway were stylish, chic, modern, and exciting, perfectly displaying how multifaceted crochet is. We saw resort and beach wear collections to more avant garde pieces ALL done by crochet. It’s honestly incredible to see what we can create with our hands, a hook and some lots of yarn.
The creativity and talent these designers have is so fun to witness. Zenzali of Millenial Maker Co. designed for our December 2022 issue of Crochet Foundry and to see the range she is capable of was amazing. Zenzali created a collection of more formal wear with an ethereal touch and I could NOT handle it. One of my favorite collections throughout the weekend was a mix of texture, color, and elegance. I still can’t handle it. The best part is that Zenzali is also so funny and kind and such a blast to talk to.
I could really talk about Crochet Fashion Week forever but nobody has time for that. However I cannot finish sharing this experience without mentioning the fact that the show ended with a wedding.
Monica Lynn Sadler created a collection of timeless wedding dresses with the last design being a beautiful (I can’t stress just how beautiful) gown. The bride walked down with runway with the groom also looking phenomenal in his own crocheted topcoat. STUNNING.
What a weekend. I enjoyed meeting so many lovely fellow crocheters! We got to talk hooks, yarn, and so much more. The audience was so fun and LOVED the show as well. People flew and drove in from all over the east coast to be at Crochet Fashion week and it did not disappoint. Deltra and her team worked so hard for this weekend event and it paid off. We were surrounded by incredible people, talented designers, and beautiful crochet. What else could we ask for?
I’m crossing my fingers I get to go to the next show in Nashville and I can’t wait to see some of you there.