Thursday, March 21, 2013


Lace is never out of fashion but sometimes it is really in fashion. The continued popularity of Downton Abby has definitely put lace back in the forefront of fashion and we are seeing a variety of design houses using it, from Cavalli to Burberry to Jason Wu.
Lace was on view at the oscars from Adele's black sheer lace to Amanda Seyfried white Alexander McQueens white lace dress.
Valentino puts a modern spin with a camo lace dress.

Although lace often represents the feminine, softness and innocence of the wearer, it was not always so.

The Victoria and Albert museum have just opened an exhibition, Treasures of the royal courts, where lace ruffs, collars and cuffs, are shown as a symbol of money, as lace was expensive, handmade and very labor intensive.
Lace can also be aggressive when worn with leather or even rubberized.
What I like about lace is that is is not trendy but stylish, so over time the high cost is well worth it.

ALENCON; is a french needlepoint lace favored by the French 2nd empire 1852-1870,  that features bouquets of flowers, leaves and ferns designs on a sheer reseau mesh background. Sometimes up to 10 specialists worked on the dame piece of lace.

It is often embellished with beads or sequins.

BATTENBURG AKA RENAISSANCE; is a heavy 19th-century lace made by shaping linen braid or tape into patterns with thread connections to hold the pattern together.

Shelly Segal Battenburg dress.

CARRICKMACROSS AKA PRINCESS LACE; maybe the fairest of them all, is a delicate Irish lace used in christening robes and wedding veils.

Carrickmacross lace used on the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress.

Portions of the fabric are cut way and reinforced with embroidery. Nowadays, the net is made by machine and the patterns are applied by hand with a needle.

CHANTILLY; a favorite of the French court, is made on a soft mesh and uses patterns of flowers, branches and ribbons on a plain background.

Used as trim on  a hat.
And made into a famous song by the BIG BOOPER.

CLUNY AKA RIBBON; this lace is make from course linen threads on looms or jacquard machines. Often used as table or bed linen. This is very strong lace and manufactured on a large scale today.

 Top trimmed with Cluny lace.

DUCHESS LACE aka Brussels (needle lace) or Bruges (bobbin lace);  is a lace with raised floral designed on a spaced net background. Sometimes inserts of needle lace, called ROSE POINTS, were frequently combined with Brussels duchess bobbin lace. Do not expect to find lace factories in either cities as they do not exist.
Duchess lace is manufactured on a cushion on which a paper pattern is pinned. The lace maker will use on average 22 bobbins and up too 200 for an intricate design. The corner of a handkerchief can take 2-3 days to make.

GROS POINT DE VENISE AKA GUIPURE aka Point de France; this is a heavy needlepoint lace made with buttonhole stitches. The lace is raised with a pattern that looks like carved ivory. Thick cordonnets outline the heavy scrolling flowers. Similar lace was made in Ireland, Belgium, and Italy.

Used as trim on a retro fifties hat.

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