Privilege Blog

The Key Motif Of 2016, And Maybe 2017

In these days where fashion welcomes, nay proliferates, all kinds of silhouettes, we find ourselves designating “It” items to replace absent mandates. The It bag, those shoes, or, occasionally, that “motif.” Do you remember a couple of years ago – bird prints everywhere?

This year, I’m noticing butterflies. Which pleases me to no end. As a fan of the actual creatures, I’m happy to see them figured in home and on persons.

I know some people are scared of them. I get it. They are bugs. They do have scary legs. But the symbolism is lovely. In China it means young love that never dies. Let us not forget the old really annoying song, “Elusive Butterfly of Love,” in my memory fraught with pre-teen and pre-love angst.

And there’s always reality; butterflies are pollinators, they look like stained glass, and remind us of the almost infinite variety of nature.

The Butterfly Home

I have five of these glass guys, I like to experiment with random arrangements. As for the Mackenzie Childs guest towels, were they linen they’d be on their way to me .

Your Butterfly Wardrobe

If money were no object I’d wear Valentino’s “butterflied” denim barn jacket for the rest of my time on this earth. Even Alexander McQueen’s line, notable for elevating the skull to high fashion, has joined in.

How About Butterfly Jewelry?

Jewelry is probably the most traditional way to get your fix. I will never forget a pair of earrings I didn’t buy. Made from four diamonds, marquise for the forewings, a pair of pears for the rear. So, so, beautiful. Betsey Johnson wants to make it up to me.

Or, Perhaps My Favorite Icons, Butterfly Shoes And Bags

You can find your butterflies gaudy or severe. I love those Sophia Webster shoes. Wouldn’t they be great for the holidays? Still, Valentino wins this round, with embroideries appliqued again on denim. Sigh.

Finally, in the let’s not spend a thousand dollars on a whim category, we have McQueen’s t-shirt, Johnny Was’s tunic, and this pretty inexpensive top (it can be hard to find inexpensive butterfly prints that aren’t tacky but I think I like this one).

And I just remembered the scientific term. Lepidoptera. There you have it.

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28 Responses

  1. I too love butterflies. I bought the Baccarat butterfly when you posted it a few years ago and if I remember correctly it was a Christmas present from your mother. I bought the red as it is so symbolic of Chinese culture and it reminded of Chinese motifs. I think you have now talked me into the purple colour. The first department store I visited here was Neumann Marcus and the escalators ascend into a cascading butterfly installation. It was so beautiful. And, of cause there logo|brand is the butterfly.

    1. @Yvonne, I love hearing that I share a butterfly with readers:). And I did think of this as the NM logo also – just forgot to write it in, so thanks!

  2. How interesting to learn that in China butterflies mean young love that never dies. My mother’s wedding china, which she brought with her from China, features butterflies. I’ll have to ask her about that. Thank you.

    1. @lauren, Ah yah, moths. MUCH more McQueen. And yes to butterfly fear, not known personally, but in @familiarwldrnss’s Twitter thread on her monarch release.

    2. @Flo, I have a long love affair with McQueen’s butterflies! I remember that Treacy headpiece well, and I haunted it when it came to the Met for SAVAGE BEAUTY.

    3. @lauren, Hm. You’ve inspired me to pick up the SB Met catalogue, it’s on Amazon and I need a present. There are so few inspirations out there for those of us with a savage heartbeat. I once read a comment about manicures that almost applies, “Where else can you get so much hope for so little money?” Thx.

  3. I never knew that there would be so many butterfly clothing options…
    \I have a pretty pink Sherman rhinestone pin that my MIL gave me…I used to pin it on my denim jacket and have worn it on a wool hat…I must give it some more outings after reading your post!

  4. I actually know a woman who hates butterflies. She says they are just bugs and they scare her. Go figure. We all have our idiosyncrasies.

    My favorites are the real ones.

  5. Love this post! So light and airy — and beautiful. Perfect foil to current news cycle. Thank you

  6. Love this, and the butterfly shoes, although I have no need for them. The butterfly covered sweater/sweatshirt we admired continues to hold a place in my memory.

  7. Butterflies are so beautiful!
    “Young love that never dies” (didn’t know :-)) and “butterflies in one’s stomach”(same as in croatian,when you’re in love! Our name is “leptir” or smaller version “leptirich”)-how interesting,two different cultures!
    The baccarat buterfly is so cute!
    So,time has come for new butterflies :-)
    P. S. Moths would be bad carma (for other wool and cashmere sweaters :-))

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