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Shimmer into Summer

Trending now... | May 21, 2024

Once an accent of eveningwear or your Great Aunt's head-to-toe Christmas get-up, the sequin has shed its late-night associations and made its way into our everyday wardrobes. And as the temperatures rise and days stretch longer, beckoning the promise of picnics, pub gardens, and escapes outside of the city, what better way to illuminate your summer itinerary than with a sprinkling of shimmer?

The word “sequin” originates from the Arabic word ‘sikka’, meaning coin – which stemmed from the common ancient practice of sewing coins onto your clothing to exhibit wealth and keep your money close. But in the 1920s when King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, the flurry of Egyptomania saw the sequin make a major comeback. As gilded relics were unearthed so too were robes embellished with circular discs, which went on to inspire the dress of 1920s flappers.

Sequins later shimmied on the dance floor in the 1970s as disco fever swept the globe with designers like Paco Rabanne, Bob Mackie and Halpern leading the party. Metallics, bright colours, big hair and platform shoes became the uniform of the new musical movement, while the sequin – which shimmered like a disco ball under the light – became the motif of the moment. But since then, sequins have remained largely confined to after-dark hours and special occasions.

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Fashion designer Ashish Gupta has been toying with sequins ever since he founded his namesake brand. A master in putting an everyday spin on these dazzling discs, Ashish reimagines casual silhouettes like hoodies, jeans, and T-shirts, injecting them with what he calls “sequin serotonin”.

Miu Miu left a lot of knickers in a twist, when it sent £4,000 sequin-emblazoned brief, over denier tights and awkwardly tucked-in knits, down its autumn/winter 2023 last year. And while we're not planning on forking out for diamond-encrusted undies, adding a touch of sparkle to an ordinary outfit can be an effective styling tweak for summer.

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