Sequins 101

I remember the 80’s very well. The decade of decadence, the opulent era, the big sleeves, even bigger shoulder pads and  hair! Although an 80’s revival period is unlikely to occur I have noticed in the past few months that a plethora of super-sparkly gowns have re-emerged to create the illusion of a Miss America pageant at red carpet events.

To start things off, the term for a gown covered in sequins is ‘sequined’ not ‘sequenced’. If you can’t spell it or pronounce it, don’t wear it. Sequins are small shiny disks with a hole in the center for purposes of attaching them to fabric. They come in a million varieties of color, shape, size and hole placement and any one of those can cause them to look like glittering diamonds…oooooh! If not worn properly, they can add size and dimension to an otherwise adorable figure.

Take Amy Poehler at the Emmys… please. Although her gown was smooth and seemed to be a good choice on the hanger, she didn’t seem to understand the physics of reflecting light and the affect it has on your post-baby body.  That same gown in silk crepe would have been stunning, maybe with a bra and a long delicate diamond necklace to pull your eyes downward… and one size bigger.

Or how about Juie Bowen in this Oscar de la Renta gown? To me, this sequined print fabric is matronly and confusing. This gown would have been better in layers of silk chiffon of any color and would have transformed her into a femme fatale.

Although not sequined, Jane Krakowski’s J. Mendel gown was  pure Alexis Carrington, minus the two sizes too small corset. If this gown had been made of any natural fiber or any other fabric than space foil, she would have been a knockout. But the super shiny fabric seems to accentuate some over-zealous  darts.  I only mention this gown because it is apparently made of some sort of lame`, which was also big in the 80’s.

Last but never least –  everyone’s  favorite secretary and voluptuous beauty, Christina Hendricks wore a sequined, bedazzled Johanna Johnson gown so close to her own skin color that she appeared to be nothing but red hair and lips….. and huge boobs. This gown was either borrowed from the Miss Universe wardrobe department or from the set of Titanic. Either way, the overbedazzled fabric is not right for this gown. If this were made of silk charmeuse we could see that the asymmetrical seams are a perfect fit for her curvaceous physique.

Are sequins back? If so, when is too much just…. too much? And remember, just because you have a sparkly gown doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear jewelry!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago