When one thinks of crochet, one automatically thinks of dainty coasters, homeware, and table runners. Contrary to conventions, Ilyang Ilyang elevates the craft to new heights. Daphne Chao, the Filipino artist behind the crochet brand, describes its style as “hardcore handmade crochet”, and fittingly so. Its colorful Instagram feed boasts of wacky head-turners woven by yarn, such as a Nacho Libre-inspired Luchador mask, a two-kilogram vest, and a sunny-side-up egg hat with bacon strip ties.
The concept for Ilyang Ilyang stems from Chao’s great grandmother, who the brand is named after. “My mom and my grandmother always told me stories about how she would spend her days crocheting table runners or bed sheets while she smoked her tobacco and drank her Cerveza Negra,” she laughs. These stories about her great grandmother’s devil-may-care attitude are what led to the idea of a brand that subverts the notion of crocheting being a grandmother’s craft. “To me, she was the complete embodiment of hardcore badass crochet,” Chao says. “It’s like a full-circle moment.”
提到钩针编织，很自然会让人联想到精美的杯垫、家居用品和桌布，但 Ilyang Ilyang 的创意钩针编织，将这类工艺提升至全新的高度。品牌主理人是来自菲律宾的艺术家 Daphne Chao，她形容自己的风格是“硬核手工钩针编织”，在看了她的作品之后，这个形容或十分贴切。打开她的Instagram 页面，五颜六色、设计新奇的纱线编织作品映入眼帘，例如受喜剧片《疯狂神父》启发的墨西哥摔跤手面具、两公斤重的背心和一顶带培根系绳的太阳蛋帽子。
Ilyang Ilyang 的概念和名字都来自 Daphne 的曾祖母。“我妈妈和外婆常常跟我讲起她们曾经编织桌布和床单的故事，那时候她们一边抽烟喝酒，一边做着钩针编织，很有生活气息，”她笑着说道。这些故事，让她萌生了创立品牌的想法，想要打消人们对钩针编织是一门老掉牙的传统手艺的偏见。Daphne表示：“对奶奶来说，就算是手艺活儿，也要抽烟、伴酒，她完美诠释了什么是硬核钩针编织。创立这个品牌感觉像是冥冥之中的安排。”
Chao only began crocheting in early 2020 when she found herself stuck in Panglao, Bohol at the start of the lockdown in the Philippines. When she launched Ilyang Ilyang after returning to Manila, she had no clear idea of where it would head. The only products she had available then were sun hats and bikini tops. However, she realized that most of her pieces were too femme and not inclusive enough. She decided that her next piece would be gender-neutral, and the yarn vomit vest was born. The multi-colored cropped vest is made from her hoard of scrap Monaco yarn and is one of a kind. She credits this design as being the piece that opened her eyes to the unlimited potential of crocheting.
Daphne 在 2020 年初才开始钩针编织，当时菲律宾因疫情封锁，她被困在薄荷岛的邦劳。回到马尼拉后，她创办了 Ilyang Ilyang 品牌，但当时的她对未来并没有清晰的打算。当时品牌唯一推出的产品只有太阳帽和比基尼。她随后意识到，自己大部分作品都过于女性化，不够多元。于是决定推出更中性化的产品，很快，纱线呕吐背心就诞生了。这款缤纷的短背心是她用剩余的摩纳哥纱线制成，这样的钩针方式在市面上绝无仅有。她也认为，正是这件背心，让她发现了钩针编织的无限可能。
Though her eye-catching designs may seem carefully planned, Chao admits that most of her products don’t come with elaborate backstories. Most of her pieces are spur-of-the-moment ideas, such as a vest designed to hold up to 65 eggs, which was inspired by the Easter holiday. Although this began as more of a joke, the vest garnered a surprising amount of attention, an offbeat piece that sat somewhere between streetwear, workwear, and “gorpcore,” a style centered on outdoor camping gear.
Another recent piece that has caught attention is the Banana Bundle Bag, which has individual pouches where individual fingers in a hand of bananas can fit snugly. “It was actually a concept from a customer turned good friend,” she says. “When he mentioned it, I knew I had to make it right away.” Chao adds that she finds these unorthodox projects the most fun, as there aren’t any precedents she can reference. The design depends on pure intuition.
你可能会以为这些作品是精心设计而成，但 Daphne 表示，自己其实大部分作品都没有过多构思，常常是一时兴起的创意，例如一件可装下 65 个鸡蛋的背心，其灵感就来自复活节。这件出于好玩而设计的背心，反倒在圈子里备受欢迎，介于街头服饰、工作服和户外装备之间。
When she made the Instagram account for Ilyang Ilyang, it was just a place where she could post her work and interact with the supportive crochet community. Out of the positive reception, she began offering pieces for sale and accepting commissions. It’s still far from a conventional brand account though. “Ilyang Ilyang has become a mish-mash of mostly memes, crochet, and occasionally some ‘ridiculously unconventional shit’, which I think provides an unintimidating space for conversations and creativity to flourish,” she says. “It has introduced me to a range of creative and artists where I was able to build relationships that go beyond [just] buyer and seller. The DMs are always open to being a dump for everyone’s wild ideas. It’s highly encouraged even!”
刚开始创建 Ilyang Ilyang 的 Instagram 帐户时，她只是单纯地想分享作品，和圈内朋友交流。但随着热度越来越高，她决定开始批量生产，接受定制。尽管如此，帐户仍然谈不上是正儿八经的品牌。她表示：“Ilyang Ilyang 是某种互联网文化、钩针编织和怪诞创意的大杂烩，我希望它作为一个平台，可以鼓励更多人大胆地交流和尽情发挥创意，我也因此认识了很多创意人和艺术家，和很多人建立超越买家与卖家之外的关系。很多人通过私信，和我分享他们各种疯狂的创意，收到这些私信我也很开心！”
Beyond the brand, Chao has high hopes for crochet wear as a whole. The resurgence of the 70s trend has made waves worldwide, even making its way to fashion runways and celebrity wardrobes, but Chao wants to see it being adopted by younger crowds in a more mainstream capacity, and not only as a quirky statement piece. “In all honesty, I just really want to see crochet hit the streetwear scene in big cities. Make crochet core happen!”
Through its bold explorations of the versatility and limits of crocheting, Ilyang Ilyang has become a standout name among the burgeoning crochet community. Alongside striking pieces you never thought could be crocheted, the brand approaches its designs with humor, passion, and skill in one Instagram feed — all while maintaining its edgy yet eccentric image. “I pursued ‘hardcore’ designs to remind people that crochet can be so much more than what you initially thought it was, being that it’s seen as a feminine hobby,” Chao says. “It doesn’t always have to be dainty, delicate, or exclusively for one gender, or even something that’s only suitable for a Coachella-themed party. Crochet can be as hardcore as you want it to be.”
除品牌之外，Daphne 也对钩针编织这种工艺寄予厚望。这股风靡全球的 70 年代潮流甚至吹到了时装秀场上，但 Daphne 希望它最终能成为一种主流文化，被年轻群体所接纳，而不仅仅是一时的新奇潮流。“我其实很希望看到钩针编织成为城市大街小巷里的时尚潮流，让钩针编织火起来！”
Ilyang Ilyang 呈现了多元化的钩针编织作品，大胆探索这种手工艺的无限可能，现在更已成为新兴钩针编织圈子里的佼佼者。这些出人意料的钩针编织个性作品，体现着品牌的幽默、热情和传统技艺的继承，同时又彰显了前卫、小众的态度。Daphne 表示：“我选择 ‘硬核’ 这个词语，就是为了提醒人们，钩针编织不只是你所想象的那么简单，也不是一种古老的女性化爱好。它不一定要风格优美，也不只属于某一种性别，更不是只适合参加音乐节主题派对。相反，钩针编织也可以很硬核，即便呈现的方式不同，但也要一直延续下去。”
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Contributor: Simone Yatco
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
供稿人: Simone Yatco
英译中: Olivia Li