Friday, May 13, 2011

The Truth About Polka Dots..

Birth Year: 1928
I love the Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (1960) because it's a catchy tune, and whenever you hear that song, you automatically link it with polka dots. This is where music and fashion are so intertwined.  Hence, image is everything for any musical artist. Not only does their music have to be unique, their sense of style gives their listeners a visual tangibility of their music genre.  It’s like a time travel machine; music can transit you through fashion history instantaneously.  I think when a designer decides to use polka dots they're thinking about giving their collection that sense of playfulness and fun. The yellow polka dot bikini is obviously a symbol of fun in the summer sun. Moschino is playing out spring with polka dot headbands, bangles, and belts in Minnie Mouse's signature colors: red, black, yellow, and white.  

But polka dots can be fun in fall and winter as well with subdued colors. You'll see furry polka dots for winter accessories like hats, gloves, capes, and purses at Marc Jacob's Fall 2011 RTW.   It seems fun for designers to work with something as versatile as polka dots because  they look great on fur, lace, shear, satin, chiffon, wool, leather, metal, nylon, cardboard...... the list is endless.  For the fashionista, polka dots can be mixed an matched with anything in any way and can be worn for any occasion. What's not to love about that? 

Just to amuse you a bit, how about polka dot mushrooms, chocolates, Ellen and her vespa, American Idol stage, corona beer polka dots soap?  No matter what you see them on, they simply scream "energy".  I know most people are familiar with Minnie Mouse's polka dot dress. Minnie is now 80+ years old, but her polka dot dress makes her look cute and adorable and kids love her!
When the royal wedding took over mainstream media, I was more interested in the late Princess Diana’s style instead.  I have not read anything written about the fact that she made polka dots the stable of her wardrobe like no other!  Was I surprised?  Not at all because polka makes anyone look friendly, approachable, and high in spirits. Perhaps she felt a connection between wearing polka dots and her personality.
Princess Diana in polka dots (1982-1986)
Wear polka dots for any occasion
The truth about polka dots is that they will never go away. You either love them or you hate them, but the trend has been recurring on the runway for at least the last 3 consecutive years (2009-1011)
Max Mara, Moschino, Marc Jacobs (2011)
Derek Lam, Marni, Rebecca Taylor (2010)
Hourse of Holland, Michael Kors, Tuleh (2009)
It would be incorrect to say that polka dots are making a comeback because when did they ever go away? From Minnie Mouse(1928) to the Bikini song (1960) to Princess Diana(1980s) to present day runways, the polka dot is a beloved pattern that defies time. Like many other iconic patterns, the polka dot has cemented a place in the fashion world.  It’s constantly rolling within it, making its presence everywhere, even beyond fashion.   It is unstoppable and irreplaceable.  Rooted from the Polish word “pulka”, which means “half-step” in the Polish polka dance from the 19th century that takes one round in circles, polka dots became a smash in fashion and ware.  Inherent in its shape and history, polka dots is not a stagnant pattern; it’s upbeat and delightful like a dance should be.  We should always feel energetic like we’re dancing when we wear our favorite polka dot look to conquer our sometimes monotonous and mundane daily routines.

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