Zipper Time

So how old do you think the zipper is?  I had no idea but apparently it just turned 119 or something. It seems kind of hard to put an age on something that has had so many evolutions but fashion just sneaked in another reason to hold an event to commemorate it anyway.  Maybe it was riding on the coattails of the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition “Punk: Chaos to Couture” and similarly obligatory Met Ball extravaganza from Monday night.

Art + fashion = BFF

The Snyderman-Works Galleries in Old City hosted the show and fashion designers in apparel and accessories exhibited their designs.  I read somewhere that the seemingly impractical Elsa Schiaparelli was the first designer to use a zipper in a garment.  We’ve come a long way since then.

The smallest runway in the world.
The smallest runway in the world.

The ladies from Three Sirens Boutique submitted a few looks and I snapped this one on my way to the bain maries full of falafel balls.

Exposed zippers look better with red hair.
Exposed zippers look better with red hair.

Lele Tran had her smart and versatile zipper scarves on display (read: male model.) Not only are they uni-omni-multi sex, you can wear them as a dress, skirt, wrap, or a top.  Super smart.

What's more beautiful, the scarf or the man?
What’s more beautiful, the scarf or the man?

Autumnlin Atelier has been working her zipper talents for years now.  I blogged about her RTW line, Heartless Revival, last October.  If you want to see how to repeat something so that it looks like something else, stare at a few of her zipper “armor” pieces for minute and watch them transform.

Zipper vest!  Why didn't I think of that?
Zipper vest! Why didn’t I think of that?

Kate Cusak has mastered the art of zipper jewelry.  It’s hard to reinvent something that is such a commodity and make it not only look fresh, but elegant.

Lovely, but it might get caught in my hair.

I’m surprised this zipper trend is still kicking.  I remember several years ago when every consumer got a schooling on zipper application and there was hardly a garment that didn’t showcase this invention.  I thought it would die down but YKK (not to mention the Swiss/German/Italian folks at Riri and American guys at Talon) keep reinventing it in fashion and technologically. (They actually have a trend report!) Today, there are waterproof zippers, reversible zippers, separating invisible zippers and something called “PowerRail® Hook and Holder System” and more that all come in brass, aluminum, nickel, or nylon, with multiple teeth thickness and size, tape thicknesses, and every length and color imaginable.  I can’t tell you how angry I got the first time I tried to place an order for manufacturing.  I felt like I was trying to buy health insurance (“I just want a zipper!!!!”) But it certainly made me think a little bit longer when I poured myself into my jeans the next day.