“Ladies beware every time that you wear lace…”
A popular jazz tune warned against its powers, and even flappers knew the dangers behind the veil of this delicate fabric. Not an everyday material, and certainly not for casual use, the sweet stylings of lace were reserved for little girls, weddings, and behind the boudoir door. Lace remained in that prim and proper state until Madonna came along and shook things up in the early 80’s.
Mixing sweetness and sex was Madonna’s specialty, and when she wore big floppy lace bows and fingerless lace gloves in day-glo colors, she freed lace from its proper constraints. Little girl, lace-trimmed anklets, which used to be worn with black patent leather Mary Janes, made their teenage revival when paired with high-heeled pumps. Stretch lace gloves, once worn by burlesque dancers, were cut up and worn one over the other in contrasting, shocking colors.
What was once used for special occasions now showed up everywhere. Off-the-shoulder lace tops, lace tights, lace skirts…lace lost its power to shock until it turned neon green, lemon yellow and fluorescent pink, colors that could even make a nun’s habit shocking.