Trendy Crafts & Crafty Trends

Trendy crafts may seem like an oxymoron, but one of the strongest trends in the urban scene is DIY handmade items. Knitting is coming back as a pastime. Hand decoration of shoes, shirts, and walls, with its aura of personalization, is replacing logos and brands as a signifier of taste. This influence is spreading into mainstream design as well, of course. In jewelry, hand finishes and organic-looking shapes that show the mark of the craftsman’s hand are a very strong trend. 

Those who don’t want to actually do-it-themselves represent a growing market for crafty entrepreneurs with an urban edge. One example of the hipster craft boom is the popular Renegade Craft Fair, which takes place twice a year in Chicago and once a year in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Last weekend 200 companies sold their handmade products at the Brooklyn edition of the fair, which has become an important style-spotting venue. Last year at the Renegade fair, for example, skulls, swallows, and branches were the most popular motifs. Skulls and branches were also very important in jewelry design last year and swallows are an important new motif this year. So what was the most important trend at this year’s Renegade fair? The handmade craft motif of the moment is sea life. The octopus and squid and other ocean creatures more creepy than cuddly are enjoying their moment in the spotlight (and on t-shirts, ties, cards, and hand-painted shoes.) Should we expect to see jewelry with tentacles? More than a few pieces were seen in Basel this year, including some spectacular South Sea pearl brooches by Autore (an octopus and even a jellyfish), so it’s quite possible.
Octopus brooch by Autore

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