Haute Historian: Blinged-out, Bejeweled and Bedazzled

‘Tis the season to be merry and bright. And what better way to show-off bright than by donning a garment with a little bit of sparkle courtesy of jeweled and beaded clothing. While the look could be achieved by running to the craft store and adding the bling yourself with the use of a Bedazzler (that oh-so inventive gadget made in the 1970s that added rhinestones and patches to garments) it might just be easier to shop the seasonal trends of embellished clothing.

The trend of having jewels, rhinestones and beads adorned on clothing items is not a new one. Like many western ideas and traditions, this look can be traced back to the Romans and their togas which were often held closed with an ornate clasp. The Byzantines, who had a similar style of clothing, with its rectangular shape, eventually evolved the toga into structured clothing with heavy embroidered materials accessorized with jewels and beads sewn throughout. Since then jewels added to clothing has been a way to add a bit of color and glitz to ones ensemble, but also has been a way to show ones wealth. This has been true in every decade and continues to be a sign of wealth, as the hand beading and adorning is time consuming and the intricate work results in an overall expensive look, even if it can appear gaudy if it’s over done.

The concept of adding jewels and bead work to clothing is not solely that of western civilization. Many eastern nations also used this technique with similar results and for most likely the same reason of showing-off one’s wealth. One of the most popular cultures to do this and still does is the Indian culture which can be seen in the sometimes elaborately adorned sarees, the traditional dress for Indian women. While there is any number of designers and stores selling this glitzy trend of jewels decorating clothing, Marchesa’s Spring 2013 Collection is the perfect example of how it’s done right and also seems to draw strong inspiration from semi-traditional Indian fashion trends. The colors are vibrant and the shapes and beaded detailing accentuate a woman’s best delicate attributes along the waist and neckline. The gauzy materials and flowy shapes take a slight backseat to the dominate jewelery and beads that stand-out and give definition to the garments. What a great way to let the clothing do all the work, no need for accessories, when your apparel is wearing it for you.

1. Vintage Beaded Sari

2. Marchesa Spring 2013 RTW. Look 9

3.Marchesa Spring 2013 RTW, Look 5

4. Marchesa Spring 2013 RTW, Look 1

– Bonnie J Brown

Image Layout: Second City Style

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