Today, it’s about the comet, a.k.a. the shooting star motif in sparkly embroidery, or incorporated in accessories. Tis the season after all….
(Design credit for gown detail above: Oscar de la Renta as displayed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)
For a while I’ve been obsessed with images that resemble a comet and the moments in sartorial time when this starry idea was designed and rendered. I’m inspired to create a similar motif and apply it to whatever suits my casual wardrobe and lifestyle. Is there a reason not to?
One of the earliest applications (that I could find) of the shooting star is in this costume by the Hollywood costume designer Gilbert Adrian; it was made for the movie Marie Antoinette back in 1933; and, no expense was spared in the creation of these costumes. This image is from the book “Gowns by Adrian”, and now I’m consumed with a sub-obsession – find the movie and see this costume in action. Are you listening, TCM?
Mademoiselle Coco Chanel had the same idea in 1932. Only, she used the shooting star in this platinum and diamond necklace. Even though she was a proponent of costume jewelry, Chanel was commissioned by the International Diamond Guild to create a range of designs to showcase real gems; she collaborated with her then-boyfriend Paul Iribe for a collection which included this innovative “comet” necklace. There’s no clasp on this necklace; its draped on the wearer, with the star at the center front, the “trail” goes around the neck to the other side. Wow! Oh wait…. the necklace comes apart so the star can be used as a pin or hair accessory, and the trail as a “diadem” (a tiara)! Double wow. About the images: the necklace with the dark background was re-issued by the House of Chanel in 1993 (from the book Chanel, the Couturiere at Work by Amy de la Haye). The one with the light background is the real deal, circa 1932, and was exhibited at Chanel’s own apartment (photo from the catalog published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2005).
French trivia: a star was one of the prevalent, preferred motifs in 18th century France; some other motifs included feathers and knots. Now, it all makes sense.
Our man Oscar de la Renta applies the same comet motif, also in sequins, to a black tulle gown – and its pure drama. The photo is fuzzy, but I caught it with my iPhone on a rotating display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Sorry, I don’t have a date or historical perspective for this gown.
Are you inspired?
I’m pondering the shooting star motif for a project. This outline was found on Pattern Universe, where you can download it free. Thank you, generous people. Tulle and thin metallic braid and floss will be involved in my project.
Do join me and make a project with the shooting star motif. Send me pictures of your interpretation and rendering through the contact page and I’ll post it here. I will also post my finished star on Instagram; follow me there @saminakaty
Merry Christmas to all…