Macrame is Making a Comeback?

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Day 420: Buenos Aires, Argentina

After a great time at ArteBA I was really looking forward to Feria Puro Diseno (Pure Design Fair). I have seen so many innovative pieces in Buenos Aires I had set the standards pretty high.

When I saw people lined up down the block I knew it would be fantastic.


people walking in front of color sign


I was disappointed.


Turns out instead of a design exhibition it was more of a consumer show for vendors who were all set up with Visa machines to make buying even easier. I don’t blame it on the organizers, they didn’t lie but I misunderstood.

But it was a lazy afternoon so I just walked around to see what people shopped for at these types of shows. It turns out it’s the same as the One of a Kind Show in Toronto. In fact a lot of it looked very hipster generic – ipod coverings, wall decals, laptop bags.

I guess with shows like these the little guys can’t afford to set up booths so you see more established, mainstream things that you get at the mall.

But all was not lost, I did find a few things amusing.


reusable shopping bags

1) Reusable shopping bags were in several stalls which was nice to see, especially in a city that doesn’t have recycling and depends on cartoneros to scavenge the trash to take to facilities for money.

2) Macrame (seen above), or whatever that awful knitting thing from the 70s, is making a huge comeback. It’s not just the ugly dolls but orange and brown apparel was everywhere! As the city heads into Fall it looks like a lot of the clothes are vintage knits – it’s a good thing I am leaving the city.


collage of shoes

3) Although there were lots of clothes, the highlight of the show was, not surprisingly, the shoes. Porteñas love their shoes and I saw some really great ones.

In a city where women wear heels so high that it must cause permanent damage, I was really excited to see some flats that were really cute.


But I really need to know is macrame a universal trend or just a Buenos Aires fad? Do you see macrame dresses and 70s style tent shirts?

If so, I may rethink coming back for the summer because I will not be wearing a knit swimsuit.


Join the Conversation

  1. LOL, nice trend, I’ve seen some pretty weird stuff in China too, glad it’s not only here 😛

  2. I hate knitted summer clothes. Who the hell wants a freaking knit tank top?!

    There are several trends in BA I just cannot get into. The #1 being those freaking diaper pants. What is it with those things?

    1. The Travel Chica says:

      The diaper pants! Yes! I didn’t know what to call them, but that is the perfect term.

  3. Theodora says:

    I don’t know. You could get one like the lovely bikini Kenneth was knitting for his grandmother in 30 Rock?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh you take it to a bad place so quickly!

  4. What, was macrame ever out? I confess I still have a few macrame plant hangers, but they are a natural hemp. More importantly, I believe the hideous articles in the picture are crocheted.

    1. OOOh!!..I never thought macrame were out of style..I have macrame how-to books from the 70s and made my own plant hangers. I don’t think I want to go back to that..and yes..those pics on the top are crochet and they do look hideous!

  5. I must be a freak- i love macrame!! I don’t know if I would wear it in summer or in winter- but I think it’s cool!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh Jade, it’s good we have a mutual love for tacos or I would think you were strange.

    2. Macrame clothes are itchy. I guess because of the jute. I love macrame also and coming from that era, I just don’t think I want to sit down for hours and figure out those knots I used to make. Things come alot easier when you’re younger!..

      1. Ayngelina Author says:

        At least you made it, these people are buying it!

  6. The Travel Chica says:

    The weird thing I’m seeing as it gets colder in BA is tights with a weird pattern. I would call the pattern “ugly Christmas sweater.”

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Bad fashion sense is so much more obvious with winter clothes.

  7. who wouldn’t want to wear a knitted swimsuit?!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      what happens when it gets wet?

  8. Yeah, the horrible open-knit sweaters are pretty common in Santiago too. I try to ignore them. Luckily I haven’t seen any macrame swimsuits yet, so I think you’re safe.

  9. Okay, perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but I love little macrame animals!! And, ahem, knit bikinis.

  10. RON | says:

    i got a macrame beanie!! hahaha.

    sorry to hear about the marketing trap!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Quick get rid of it before they multiple like gremlins!

  11. Erik Smith says:

    Yikes! Not my style and not something I ever would have guessed would become popular again. I guess you learn something every day!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’d like to know whose style it is!

  12. Gene Bowker says:

    If the macrame does come back here in the US, personally I’m blaming it on you 🙂

  13. Cheryl Howard says:

    Ayngelina, if you saw some of the stores in Toronto, you would be scared of the fashion styles that are making a comeback … acid washed jeans, Incan inspired ponchos that were so popular in the 90’s etc. Ewww.

    Your post made me laugh. For that, thank you! 🙂

  14. I feel very afraid that this will become a fad again. The first time around was a nightmare. I remember remnants of this when I was growing up in the 80’s. *shiver*

  15. Margaret says:

    Yep-that stuff is crochet (made with a crochet hook), not macrame (made with knots). Still doesn’t excuse the extreme TACK–unless you’re a 1980s retro grandma afgan fan I guess. But seriously–someone would really buy a crocheted fake potted houseplant? And since I doubt anyone would buy such a thing for themselves–the obvious question is WHAT TO DO if someone actually GAVE you something like that!???

  16. Justin Hamlin says:

    Oh, you know that you secretly want some of that knitted apparel 😉

  17. I didn’t see anything like that here in Italy yet – and least of all in Egypt.
    But I kinda like this stuff, especially the shoes and the boots! I would definitely wear them. Ok I am not fashionable but I can’t do anything about this. 🙂

  18. David @ MalaysiaAsia says:

    Wow, I’m totally lost about Macrame. Never heard of it or seen it here in Malaysia. Maybe it’ll become a worldwide fad and then probably make it to our shores.

  19. Leslie (Downtown Traveler) says:

    Those multicolor shoes are pretty hideous! Yikes. In NYC we’re having a revival of the early 1990s, complete with floral dresses, doc martens and loafers. The 70s would be sweet relief 😉

  20. Not a big fan of knit wear

  21. Katherina says:

    Wait a second…. does that mean that Macrame will be “in” this winter in Europe? What comes first: Europe or Latin America’s fashion ideas?

  22. I have to say, the crocheted houseplant *might* be the only plant to survive in my care.

  23. wow, some great shoes and very colorful colors. did u get any pairs or is not your style?

  24. @lesleyflies says:

    Those “awful macrame” dolls etc are actually Amigurumi – a Japanese craft (sort of tight circular crochet) that has become a real fad worldwide

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Figures I wouldn’t catch on to the latest trend but wow are they ever ugly!

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