As I read a book about Vintage Fashion I popped into a phrase, which was written in the end of the book as one of the tips of "how to take care of vintage pieces" - NEVER wash a 1920s sequin dress, as the sequins are made of gelatin, and will dissolve in the water! Can you imagine? )) This could be so much fun. :D You are buying an extremely expensive couture gown and you want to sweep away the dust using a wet towel...or maybe too wet... and poofff - no sequins in the morning.
Although I know what does "sequin" mean, I googled it to learn more.
Everybody knows these little shining "disk-shaped beads" which can be seen mainly on the dresses, but in past decades a lot of accessories like bags and shoes are also decorated that way.
Sequin dresses, especially long ones remind me a mermaid's fish skin. It is indeed a hard hand work - to make a special ornament or picture using sequins of different colors.
A little bit of history and interesting facts about sequins.
"Large sequins, fastened only at the top, have been used on billboards and other signage, particularly prior to the development of lighted and neon signs. Signs made with sequins were called schmaltz, as were the sequins themselves in that context."
First sequins were being used as decoration of fabric as early as 2500 BC. The prototype of a modern sequin is a golden coin which is still used in some countries to decorate folk costumes - headdresses, veils, etc. It was originally used to display a family's wealth. (remember those shining scarves and skirts of belly dancers, btw it's a sound effect that counts)
The word sequin is said to be the French derivation of the Italian zecchino, a pure gold coin minted by the Venetians in 1284. Zecca is "a mint", from Arabic sikkah "a minting die", meaning "ornamental disc or spangle" ""
When Art Deco era began in Paris sequin dresses were at the peak of their value. And in 70's on at peak of their fame. Hard to imagine disco style without sequins, as their are made to reflect the lights.
In 80's it's been popular to use a bright colored sequins and neon sequins to form pictures.
These Christian Louboutin used sequins are so small that you can hardly recognize them. This size of beads are used to create a special glowing and the wet effect.
Today sequin dresses are super popular with celebrities.
And here are some examples from the last collections. As you can see, designers are still in love with these lovely sparkling rings..
Diane von Furstenberg Fall/Winter 2011-2012
Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2011-2012
Elie Saab Fall/Winter 2011-2012