Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Peplum Through History

I have so much to say about peplums that this is going to be a two part post.  This first one introduces the peplum and its journey through time.

Peplum is a word that, along with the fashion has gone  largely underground for 70 years with only a brief resurfacing in the 1980s.  However, it has been slowly making a comeback on the runways over the last few years, and this season it is really here with a vengeance.

First off, if you have never heard of it, you’ll be wanting a definition.  A peplum is basically an over skirt, that is usually attached to another garment such as a jacket, blouse, skirt or dress.   Its main purpose was essentially to highlight the mini waist by accentuating the hips.

These types of adornments stem from the embellished dresses of the 1800s and beyond. There are many examples at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (p.s. their website is simply amazing!).

The next big break for the peplum was in the 30s and 40s where it was a staple attached to dresses and jackets.  There were many variations from long to short, even and uneven and a look at old pattern designs can give you a nice idea of their range.  You can also see where todays inspirations come from out of this fashion era.

In reality these designs translate into pieces such as the ones just below, which are also part of the collection at The Met.

In the 50s, the peplum was done to a degree as it faded out, but not in any major way, which is made obvious by the fact that it is hard to find 50s dresses with them nowadays. Most true peplums of this time were similar to those in the 40s so there is no reason to search out 50s peplum dresses.  However there were also several peplum inspired embellishments  to one side or in the back, and several gathered versions which are really unique and very fashionable. It was a time for out with the old and in with the new!  Here are some examples that you can get on Etsy:

And again, here are some absolutely gorgeous examples from The Met (the one on the left is Dior and the other two are by Charles James):

The peplum resurfaced with force in the 1980s, particularly for party dresses and suits, with variations from your wildest dreams. Here are a few amazing examples on Etsy.  By the way, you can own these, and I recommend it!

For a few more crazy pieces have a look at my Etsy treasury: Wild Peplums of the 80s .

As I mentioned, peplums are everywhere now.  Just open a fashion magazine or do a google search to see how these are being done today!  What I love about taking a look back at them through time is that you can see where the inspirations come from, but also see what is new.  These days, the peplum, as in the 80s, is important for party dresses, but similar to the 40s, it is also being done for day wear. I love how designers have taken it to a new complex level  of geometrical, structured or floufy. Here are a few particularly spectacular examples:

Burberry

Bottega Veneta

Zac Posen

Givenchy

Giorgio Armani

Tracy Reese

Two of my next posts detail how to go vintage for this trend, both for beautiful peplum jackets and dresses as well as detachable peplum belts!

__________________________________________________________________________________

References:

1. Sewing Made Easy; New Revised Edition.  By Marie Lynch & Dorothy Sara. Garden City Books, ~1955. USA. Pgs. 360

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Fashion History

The Detachable Collar Demystified

Most trends these days are recycled.  The fun thing about that is that you can look for vintage pieces that fit right in. Of course, you will also then be more unique and the quality will be incomparable.  It is true though, that sometimes the original pieces are downright weird… you must be selective (but never be shy to select hilarity if you love it!).

There are a few of these trends out there right now and the one that I am going to write about today is the detachable collar.  You have probably seen these by now, they seem to have hit the mainstream this season.

Though you  may never have heard of such a thing, these are also borrowed from times past.  Originally, the purpose of detachable collars, was versatility.  Add a fancy crochet or lace collar to a day dress or sweater, and you can wear it for an evening out, and appear as though you have put on a whole other outfit!  This was useful when times were tough, and appearances mattered.

In fact, many patterns were designed with detachable pieces, and you could make several versions of them to alter the look of your outfit with less fabric. Of course, it was not recommended to wear matching collar and cuffs at the same time, because they would “divide the interest” and make your outfit appear “spotty”1.  You could make all kinds of these out of a wide range of fabrics such fancier ones like piqué, organdie and eyelet embroidered1.  Otherwise solid coloured or printed silk, rayon crepe, taffeta or linen may also have been used; gingham and plaids being favorites for the patterns1.  In every case, the collar was made to fit the neckline perfectly, so that it appeared to be part of the top1.  Another way to achieve the same idea was to wear a dickey1, but sorry folks, that will never be in style again!

Today, the detachable collar has a different use.  Really, it is worn as a necklace of sorts, and has become an accessory rather than a necessity.  And so, the wearer need not worry about its fitting perfectly around the collar of their shirt, but may revel in its stark detachability!

How to go vintage for this trend?  I recommend the gorgeous beaded pieces from mid last century.  These can be found in vintage shops if you are lucky, but there are loads available on Etsy for very reasonable prices ranging from 15-45$.  The fun thing about these beaded collars is that they hit another current trend, the small rounded vintage-style collar.  To be quite precise, these are known as “peter pan” collars1.  To get the look, use your detachable collar in a more traditional fashion; you’ll need a high crew-neck shirt.

Here are some of my favourites from Etsy:

Crochet collars can also be really beautiful.  Here though, you’ve got to be extra careful not to make it look granny.  I suggest wearing it as a necklace again, with a low cut shirt so that it doesn’t overlap.  Here are some lovely vintage ones on Etsy:

There are loads of hand made ones on Etsy too, often in more wearable styles with a  wider variety of colours. Just search “crochet collar”! They may not be recycled, but they are hand made, and thats also good for the environment.  I’m sure you could find some made from recycled wool too if you’re looking to be die hard, or, make one yourself if you know how.

__________________________________________________________________________________

References:

1. Sewing Made Easy; New Revised Edition.  By Marie Lynch & Dorothy Sara. Garden City Books, ~1955. USA. Pgs. 349-351.

______________________________________________________________________________

Next week’s topic?  The peplum.

2 Comments

Filed under Trends, Uncategorized