At the aforementioned maison du chic (Chanel, bien sur!), Karl Lagerfeld imbued crochet with a dose of sophistication, weaving it into sweetly belled dresses, flower-embellished cardigans, and even handbags in an innocent palette. The end result was a farm-inspired springtime look with just enough verve to appear coy without being saccharine. No less warm-weather appropriate, but with a completely different spin on this nouveau netting, Issey Miyake marched models down the runway in head-to-toe crochet or sheer tops over psychedelic print leggings. Miyake's techno-tribal take was markedly more free-spirited with ensembles that paired tan knits with ikat prints or were doused in neon hues. While we may skip over such festive wear for night, Miyake's laid-back bohemian spirit is ideal for your summertime needs when it comes to beach cover-ups or music-festival wear.
Of course, just because a fabric marches down the runway, even under the guise of the most esteemed designers, doesn't mean it always finds its way into the limelight, but thanks to the lovely ladies pictured today, this knit has received a dose of sartorial wit. Model Alexandra Richards took this look from runway to reality when she opted for a silk and cotton crochet Chanel dress for a Tribeca Film Festival dinner last month. We love how she contrasted this sweet frock with slicked back hair, resulting in a polished cocktail ensemble. Another excellent evening-minded take on this weave comes to us via Julia Restoin Roifeld who donned Mark Fast's Crochet Dress with Flounce Skirt ($1941) to attend the Elle Style Awards in London recently. This sculptural dress rendered crochet surprisingly sexy and seriously wowed us with its midnight hue. In addition to the of-the-moment textile, the navy frock also incorporates a flouncy, skater skirt¬--another one of our favorite spring trends. Continuing the thread of today's story, blonde beauty and rising screen star Malin Ackerman slipped on this fine knit when she wore Odd Molly's Sumthing Dress ($438) for the March opening of Odd Molly's flagship store in West Hollywood. Ackerman is to be applauded for making crochet feel like the perfect transitional knit; by throwing it over black leggings and some open toe black shoes, it becomes an ideal almost-summer ensemble. Finally, one of our favorite ways to reinvent the spinning wheel with this fun fabric comes via stylesetter Kate Bosworth. Bosworth paired Topshop's Knitted Crochet Dress ($110) with ankle boots and oversized shades at Coachella, for a directional, yet casual daytime look.
As this stylish set has shown us, crochet can be a choice cloth for all occasions. For an evening appropriate dress √† la Roitfeld or Richards, be sure to check out Helmut Lang's Crochet-Back Knit Dress ($415), Of Two Minds Crocheted Lace Dress ($366), or Tibi's Scoop Neck Dress ($298), which is also a perfect pick for a daytime shower or luncheon. If you're lusting after something in a smokier hue, like Ackerman's Odd Molly dress, you can pick up the absolutely luxe and amazing Joseph Leather Knit Tunic ($1745) or Mango's Crochet Dress ($69.90) in Rope for a more wallet-friendly option. That said, summery daytime versions worthy of Bosworth's brand of bohemian chic are perhaps the most wearable and abundant. We like Graham & Spencer's Crochet Dress with Slip ($253), Topshop's Knitted Crochet Shoulder Dress ($100), and Forever 21's Crochet Mini Dress ($29.80).¬--Liza Kaplan
Photos of Malin and Julia, courtesy of Getty; photo of Kate, Splash; runway photo, First View.