Monday, August 16, 2010

the sparkle that shines

The Straitjacket Fits didn’t feel the (theoretical) sparkle that shines in our eyes, but that was 1990, these days it’s a bit more obvious. Amidst the economic black death of the past two years a pattern has emerged. A pattern laden with sparkles that shine.

Is it that when we can least afford to add shiny adornment to our figures in the form of diamonds and bling, the fashion world decided to add it to our clothes in the form of sequins? In the past, Depressions were fraught with simple cuts and rationed materials, leading to a conservative, if not drab, look.

This time around, designers used less-costly materials and adorned them with ruffles, pleats and sequins to make up for the opulence lost as they moved away from expensive silks and chiffons.

Sequined materials and adornments didn’t make it into my wardrobe for some time. I was very wary of blinging my outfits themselves, rather than adding shiny value to them through jewellery and make up. However, at this late stage in the sparkly game I’ve embraced a few of the less garish pieces.

A major focus of sequined clothing (if it hasn’t used sequin material for the whole item) has been on shoulders and the neck line. It really is like wearing your jewellery on the fabric itself. And I wouldn’t recommend adding to it either. Your sparklies should are the feature, not part of a bigger picture. And additions should be worn with caution. Let’s not get all Liza Minnelli on it.

As for the all-over sequined look, I’m not quite there yet, nor do I think I will ever be. Maybe for New York party girls with exclusive clubs to go to and expensive friends to drink with – but for Courtenay Place or Cuba Street on a Wellington weekend? I have my doubts. I’m concerned that the look can get a bit “peacock-y”, as in, girls wearing flashy things in order to attract potential mates – like moths to the flame.

What I find intriguing about the sparklies is that it’s been on the racks for more than three months. Unlike most fashion fads, embellished tops and dresses have been “in” for over two years now. So, is it a drawn out response to recession or is sequined clothing just one of those things that will never get old?

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