Now & Then: Sequins Galore

Shine on: A symbol of 80’s excess, the trend now is for a subtler sequin.

If ever there was a time for a glitteratti to go against their monochromatic nature and don a sparkly sequined item, now would be the time. Sequins, the small disk-shaped beads that have been used as decoration on clothing from as far back as 2500 BC are trending hard this season.

With fashion referencing those high gloss eras of 1920s glamour and Studio 54 disco debauchery, the trend for sequins looks set to endure beyond the festivities and into our spring clothing. And yet (as anyone around in 1929 or 1980 could attest), too much of a good thing doesn’t usually turn out that well. Moderation is definitely the key to a modern take on this trend.

Still not convinced? The lingering aesthetic notions of sequins as “schmaltzy” – that Dynasty, Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey thing – are justly feared and accurately named, as it turns out. Prior to the invention of lighted and neon signs, large sequins called schmaltz were used on billboards and other signage.

Gucci, Spring 2012

But every wardrobe should have a little shine, especially this season. Take a look at jeweler, Giovanna Torrico’s truly tasteful line of jewelry. Made from vintage sequins from the 1930s (before they were made of plastic), they might be just as much of a gleam as you need.


Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.