Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fashion Flashback: Worth the Tassel

Marisa Berenson wearing a tassel earring by Giorgio di Santangelo. Photo by Bert Stern for Vogue, 1967.

I go through these spells where I don't buy any new clothes or accessories, and then all of a sudden I'm compelled to look for one singular item to add to my wardrobe -- that one item presently was a pair of tassel earrings.

It's a little bohemian, it's a touch Talitha-Getty-in-Marrakesh, it's a smidge hippie high school art teacher. But it's actually an embellishment that dates way, way back -- as far back as Biblical times. A necklace with tassels was even found in King Tut's tomb, dating back to the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

The tassel was initially used for functional purposes, as a knot to keep garments and fabrics from unraveling (its origins are derived from the Latin word 'tassau', meaning clasp). Over time, it has evolved from not only being just functional, but decorative. The popularity of tassels (in everything from furniture to clothing and accessories) has ebbed and flowed, and it's funny to think the resurgence of it in fashion today dates back so many years. The era I draw my inspiration from most is the later part of the 1960s.

(L-R) Britt Ekland; Talitha Getty; Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
Chloe Sevigny; Margot Robbie; Natalie Portman

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