Charlie Byrne | Fashion Editor | Saturday, 13 December 2014

Always Thought Sequins Were A Bit Naff? Well We're Here To Prove You Wrong

The Debrief: Designers have put sequins back on the map - forget disco balls, and check out the new cool, gritty glitz and prepare to shine!

You know you’re truly dedicated to wearing sequins when you’re prepared to bleed for them. I once spent a whole day at Milan Fashion Week attempting to sashay with red raw calves because of a white sequin camisole dress that I thought would exude laid-back luxe. By the end of the day it exuded a violent murder from the knees down. Did I care? Nope. 

I’m addicted to anything remotely glittery, and can scan a shop for the shiniest bits in seconds. For the sake of giving you real proof, I counted the number of sequinned things in my wardrobe last night: 32. Ranging from bags, to dresses, skirts and knickers. Yup, I own sequinned smalls. 

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But while my problem re sequins mostly surrounds finding enough plain stuff in my wardrobe to wear with the glitter-tastic bits, I realise I’m an anomaly. I understand most people are pretty frightened by the idea of being clad in scaly shiny bits, are a bit freaked out by how lots of sequinned clothes are often a bit twee, and are far too reminded of fancy dress. 

 

There’s also a natural association with red carpet dressing and 90s bodycon that gives sequins a bad rep - you can pretty much expect every other gown during awards season to have some sort of bling chucked over it. Most people simply don’t feel comfortable stuffed into a body clinging dress that gleams like a beacon - even with my magpie vice I’m still not 100% confident when I wear the dress that my fiance refers to as ‘the mollusc’ because it’s covered in scratchy sequins and hard gems - and we generally just don’t need such an obviously glam look for our normal routines of home-office-pub. 

But things are a-changing. If you’ve been shopping at all in the last couple of months, you’ve probably been a bit panicked by the quantity of sparkly shit in stores. It happens every Christmas, the high street is deluged with sequinned party dresses that remind me too much of what a librarian would wear to her office party. This year is different though - there’s much bigger movement towards wearing dressed down sequins, mixed with tougher, rougher fabrics. Forget wrapping your body in strangling silhouettes, sequins now come on vests, oversized Ts, sweatshirts and boyfriend jeans. That’s right, sequins just got cool. 

 

You can pretty much blame Ashish for the revamp - the Indian designer graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins in 2000, and he has made sequins his signature ever since. In the last couple of years his collections have increasingly attracted industry buzz, with the last two collections featuring toughened up sequinned clothing, from frayed jeans dripping in glitzy discs, sequinned track pants, vests and bomber jackets. Saint Laurent also dipped into the glitter pot, with Raf Simons sprinkling sixties shift dresses with paillettes worn with plenty of smudged khol and parkas. As usual, the bloggers and Instagram cool kids are wearing it first, pairing sparkle encrusted pieces with similarly ragged denim and sports luxe.  

 

If you’re not quite as much of a natural trend chameleon, and remain unconvinced by my drug pushing, then do me a favour - try just one bit of sequinned stuff, wear it to work or at the weekend - and see how you feel. I recently managed to get one of the girls in the office who only ever wears dark colours to try out a multicoloured sequin tunic top, and despite initial raised eyebrows, she later admitted that it made her feel pretty great. I’m not asking for miracles here, I don’t expect you to wear a sequin encrusted midi-skirt (I own three…) but thrown on a big sparkly T shirt with your converse this weekend and I defy you to not smile. 

Lips sweatshirt,£176, Markus Lupfer at MatchesFashion, Black sweatshirt, £45, Nike at Netaporter.com, Dress, £34.99, MissGuided.co.uk, Jeans, £80, The Ragged Priest at Asos, Clutch, £22, Miss Selfridge, Wide leg trousers, £30, Boohoo.com, Blue jeans, £235, Filles A Papa X Lee Jade at Urban Outfitters

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