It’s that time of year when polka dots bloom all over the style and fashion scene. I love them! They’re cheery and classic. From day wear to evening they can compliment anyone’s style at any age. You can go wild to subtle , colourful to contrasting even in the neutral colour pallet the pattern is full of joy.
The term polka dot pattern may have been derived from the nineteenth century craze for the light hearted polka dance, with its origins in Bohemia or Poland, but in previous centuries the pattern was considered taboo or an omen for bad luck.
During the Middle Ages there was an out break of smallpox and other spreading diseases in Europe which produced “spots” on the skin. You can see why this pattern on fabric wouldn’t be popular.
In Eastern and African cultures this pattern had a positive connotation. It was viewed as a magical pattern or symbol and even related to male potency. The smaller the pattern to more powerful the wearer was.
“The term “polka dots” to refer to a spotted fabric first appeared in print in 1857 in Godey’s Lady’s Book, a Philadelphia-based women’s magazine of the time period.” But during and before this period several versions of these cheerful dots were found in French and German couture and called by different names.
By the twentieth century the “tiny tinny polka dot bikini’, as the song goes, and the light hearted pattern was well embedded in the fashion world and has been associated with spring and summer style trends.
Do the Polka Dot
Well known artist, Yayoi Kusama, a Japaneese contemporary artist, features the dot in her colourful work and the pattern is her life long inspiration.
Yellow Pumpkin, Naoshima (Japan)
Home decor has been infused in this pattern as drapes, cushion covers,towels, and sheets–even doggy beds.
In fashion the trend continues. You’ll find it in men’s wear, children, baby items, and of course in women’s fashion.
When you are wearing
polka dots you are wearing a long history of textile innovation, one
which may have emanated from the worst time in European history and
then referencing to hope and magic. Whatever your reason, wear it
proudly because you’ll always be in style.
Here are some of the famous designers featuring the dot:
Thanks for stopping by!
The Facinating origins of the Polka Dot
Wikipedia, Yayoi Kusama ,Naoshima Pumpkin
Instagram photo, Madona 2019.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chanel Dress, Karl Largofeeld 1980’s.
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