Polka Dots are back! The question is did they ever really go? Admittedly the words do conjure up specific pictures in the mind and are especially reminiscent of 1950’s fashion, and of course that memorable song ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polk Dot Bikini’ but Polka Dots have been around much longer than that, and although they drift in and out of the forefront of fashion to a greater or lesser extent they are always visible in one form or another.
it was not until the nineteenth century that they first started to be used on clothing and with the rise in popularity of polka music there would appear to be a strong connection between the two. The term “polka dot” first appeared in the New York Times on 21 Sep 1866.
At the peak of the polka craze, between 1840 and 1890, there were numerous manufacturers who were very quick to cash in on the public’s polka-passion by creating a multitude of polka inspired products. Polka hats, polka gauze, polka socks, polka curtain ties, and, of course, polka-dotted fabrics; these products had little or nothing to do with the dance, but still they were extremely popular and remained so for a number of years. The polka dot pattern itself however, had staying power, and over the years has been used in a multitude of ways across a wide range of products.
The 1950’s were without doubt the biggest decade of the twentieth century for the polka dot with everyone from movie stars to housewives dressed from head to foot in brightly colored polka dots. The polka dot really defined the 1950’s as a decade of color, fun and optimism after the austerity of the war years. They made a brief appearance again in the 1970’s when designers took their inspiration from previous decades and put them together to create some of the more wild and wacky fashions we associate with the seventies. The optimistic eighties saw the polka dot return again but this time primarily adorning the accessories that were associated with iconic singers Cyndi Lauper and Madonna.
What do you think,,,,do you have anything Polka Dotted?