We are always receptive to any and all types of shimmering objects, but we have a tendency to pay extra attention to them towards the end of the year. What with shiny wrapping paper and twinkling holiday lights, there is no escape. I’m talking about Sequins, the timeless embellishment that has found its way into your closet this season. Earlier this year designers dreamt up sequins for Fall/Winter 2009, and boy do they know how to deliver! Stella McCartney, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Balmain, Michael Kors, and many other hot designers displayed their love for sequins on the catwalk this year.
The origin of sequins is said to be traced back to the ancient Mediterranean. A type of coin, known as a sikka, which was later changed from the Venetian word 'zecchin' to sequin by the French and entered English in that form . These coins were sewn onto clothing, especially women’s clothes; it was a way of displaying and storing a family’s wealth. Where sequins circulated it became custom to sew them and other similar coins to women's clothing such as headdresses, veils and over the bosom and the hips, which was likely done not only to show wealth but to also keep coins safe, since they were worn on one’s person. The look was attractive to other cultures and eventually became more of a fashion statement. It was this ancient custom that led to the use of sequined fabric and trims in modern fashion.
Sequins are disk-shaped beads used for decorative purposes. In some cultures sequins are still used as coins, modern sequins tend to be made of plastic. They are available in a wide variety of colors and geometrical shapes. Embellishing fabrics with sequins can be done in different ways. The entire article of clothing or an accessory such as a purse may be covered completely in sequins or they can be arranged to form designs, images, or patterns. They may also be referred to as spangles, paillettes, or diamantes. Sequins may be stitched
flat to the fabric, so that they do not move or they may be stitched so that they move easily, and are able to catch more light. Some sequins are made with facets, to increase their reflective ability. They are commonly used on clothing, jewelry, bags and other accessories. These stunning disks of glimmer are most commonly found on distinguished woman of a certain age, who has acquired the tasteful fashions of Golden Girl character Blanche Devereaux. Sequins can also be found fastened at the top of billboards. This was done prior to the development of neon signs. Signs made with sequins were called schmaltz.
Sequins are also used in making a variety of costumes. They can be used to embellish professional costumes for performers such as dancers or skaters or for amateur dance and gymnastic recitals. Other costumes decked with sequins may be less formal such as a Halloween. Sequin adorned fashions have always been classified as “party wear” and or evening wear. 1900- 1960 sequin adorned fashions were worn with the intent of spicing up ones evening elegant ensemble. Sequins entered the club scene in the 70’s and have remained since then a clubbers staple. This season designers like Chanel showcased their sequin adorned frocks and succeeded in bringing back the elegant taste level that was once known before the 70’s. Chanel Sequins hit the floor in evening gowns and gave sparkle to the “classic tweed suit”. Stella McCartney kept sequins youthful by playing with different hemlines. Matthew Williamson wasn’t afraid of color when it came to sequins this season. Diane Von Furstenberg courageously played with hues of blue that can sometimes be classified as "tacky '80s MOB dress.” Thankfully designers stuck with classic colors like Black, silver and occasionally gold.
Sequins will always make a comeback in fashion whether you are prepared for it or not. This is hardly groundbreaking news, but sequins will continue to be a hot trend for Fall 2009 and will remain as a favorite holiday staple. Trendy retailers like Forever 21 will always have a supply of sequin frocks for those who find themselves completely addicted to those glittering monsters. In honor of the colder days and darkening nights consider embracing that fabulous sequin blazer you found in your grandmothers closet, there is no escaping this trend. Sequins remind us that there’s nothing like a little glitz to make you forget about the looming winter and the cold it brings.