Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

August 1st, 2010
Put on a Brave Lace

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I’m liking what’s coming for fall: Lace. We all probably have a few items in our closet from past seasons that have a flash of lace. Now’s the time to bring them forward for easy reach. As temperatures drop, layer over contrasting fabrics to pop the lace pattern or over similar colors to create depth and texture.

Why is lace so enduring? Concealing but revealing. Feminine. Extravagant. Goth and naughty. Those are today’s connotations. But its first use was simply a practical solution to wear and tear.

The Pharaohs used flax cloth decorated with colored threads worked into geometric designs. About the same time, the ancient Greeks and Romans embellished their togas with colored and/or metallic gold thread. Over time, as these garments became worn and frayed around the edges, the threads were twisted and stitched together. Lace evolved from the twisting techniques of the fringed edges of woven fabric such as cotton, silk, and flax and including the embellishing threads in gold, silver, copper… and even hair. (Gray haired women would weave their silver tresses into a lace called hair lace — a great solution to make those wayward strands disappear!).

Most of us will not think about this when we slip into our lace. The biggest dilemma is how to choose from the many great options — from gorgeous jewelry and shoes to puddle splashing boots. While Lady Gaga might be successful pulling off the head-to-toe look, the key for the rest of us is accent and restraint. And for those crafty-types, re-purpose a little-used lace scarf or cami into an interesting brooch or wrist tie, ala all the brilliant etsyans tufting, sewing, gluing their way into fashion stardom.

Here are a few items that caught my eye…. (Click on the images to find out more.)

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