Fashion yarn 

Crocheted clothing and accessories were unlikely candidates for hottest fad of the summer, but hold onto your hooks and skeins; here they are. Dowdy patterns in pants, halter tops, miniskirts, purses and more bear a frightening resemblance to our grandmothers' afghans, doilies and handmade bed covers. But that fact won't keep this shabby-chic look from taking the covers of magazines and filling the racks of the trendiest stores.

The designer brand Inca merges the crochet look with the popular "hair-kerchief" (also known as the "head-kerchief") in bright dyed year-round wool embellished with ethnic beads and tiny mirrors for about $68. Inca also makes a wool/acrylic crocheted poncho touted as its "cover-up of the moment" in a deep olive green for about $165. Find these and other designer items at www.bluefly.com, an online fashion outlet that offers discounts of up to 70 percent on high-end brands such as Prada, Ralph Lauren, Nautica and many others. Norene Cashen pays attention here every other week. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

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