• From New York to Chicago: Crochet on the 2014 Fashion Week Runway

    Crochet in couture design stretches back at least as far as the early 19th century. The art of crochet as a method of creative fabric construction, has persisted through the years, maintaining its relevance despite the ebbs and flows of fashion's trends.

    Crochet is a complex art which may be created from ribbons, metal wire, yarns and other truly exotic spun fibers. Additionally, there are a variety of techniques or methods that may be employed in the art; there is Filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, tapestry crochet, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, cro-hooking and Irish crochet -- all variations on the basic method.

    This very beautiful art form takes patience, persistence and years of practice. Chicago's own Patricia Ghonda-Zola, a masterful crochet artisan, began perfecting her art when she and her sister were just little girls. "We carried our crochet hooks and yarns in our little purses just so we [could] crochet wherever we were going. It didn't matter where. I remember hiding in my mother's fashion studio just to crochet," recalls Ghonda-Zola. "...we got older and our talents got better, however I find myself being the only sister with the passion to continue crocheting."

    Ghonda-Zola is the creative energy behind Anzehlika Crochet, a fashion line that creates children's apparel and accessories. "I followed my heart and started creating more and more crochet items and sewing some children's pieces...[this is how] the idea came to create a business with exceptional quality, cutest design, modern look and affordable prices," reflects Ghonda-Zola. "Today, I make various handmade children crochet and sewn apparel as well as accessories for the whole family. "

    While crocheted fabrics have continually had a place in fashion, since 2011 there has been a revival of crochet on the runway. Project Runway has made wide use of the fabrication by the designers on the show. Christopher Kane, The Row, Chloe, Benetton, Oscar de la Renta and Rodarte have all incorporated crochet in recent collections. As a matter of fact, Sister by Sibling's entire Fall 2014 collection -- ''Temple of Love" -- is filled with crocheted items -- skirts, shawls, throws , dresses, jackets, evening wear, sweaters, blouses, and even swimwear. And just four days ago, John Rocha's Fall 2014 collection boasted several amazing, mixed media, crocheted items in his evening wear collection.

    Not to be outdone, Ghonda-Zola's Anzehelika Crochet will premiere her 2014 collection during Chicago's Spring Fashion Week runway show at The Fashion Market's Spring Event on April 19th.