Songs, memes, and listicles have all been known to go viral—but a sweater? After Harry Styles wore one of JW Anderson’s patchwork knit pieces and fans began re-creating it en masse on TikTok, the designer decided to release the pattern and instructions to the public. The idea, Anderson explains, was “to help promote this idea of craft and making during a period when everyone was stuck at home with nothing to do.” His theory as to why an art form with definite granny associations has taken hold with Gen Zers and millennials? “People are looking for connection,” the designer says, “and not just via their phones.”Indeed, the craft movement that has bubbled up in recent years—from the resurgence of quilting via designers like Bode to the rise of handmade crochet at Altuzarra and Isabel Marant—has exploded during quarantine. Perhaps you’ve seen someone you know breaking out their knitting needles and yarn on Instagram, or curling up in their own hand-dyed sweatshirts. As Anderson makes clear, craft offers a way for us to connect—whether to the hands of its makers, age-old traditions, or simply our own humanity. Knitting, crocheting, quilting, and even weaving are making a major comeback, not just on social media, but in the realm of high fashion, where handmade fringe, tie-dye, and beading have hit an all-time high.
A look from Chanel’s 2021 Métiers D’art show.
MARIE ROUGE/Courtesy of Chanel
For spring 2021, Fendi showed artisan-made bobbin lace, quilted satin, lace-embroidered linen, and fisherman-woven willow. At Valentino, caftans, little jackets, sweaters, and cape dresses were punctuated with delicate crochet and macramé, and creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli reworked embroidered flowers atop lace. Delicate handiwork is always on display at Chanel’s annual Métiers d’art show, where the house’s artisan partners showcase their extraordinary talents, but the brand has doubled down on craftsmanship lately. This summer, it’s scheduled to open a new multistory space, Le 19M, that will bring together 11 Métiers d’art, comprising about 600 artisans—allowing Chanel closer contact whenever it requires their expertise.
Harry Styles in the TikTok-viral JW Anderson cardigan.
NATHAN CONGLETON/NBC/GETTY IMAGES
Slowing down has given us “an opportunity to reconnect with the little things,” says Carlotta…