fashion dictionary: PASSEMENTERIE
- Applied trimmings of cord, braid, gimp, beading or tassels on garments, furniture, and home decor.
Passementerie, another one of those things you've seen a thousand times but never realized had a proper name. (Like how the armhole of your shirt--where your sleeve attaches--is called the armscye. A word so rarely used that even our spell check is red penning us like, Um, TF?! That's not a thing.)
Passementerie has a rich history involving royalty, aristocracy, the military, and seven year apprenticeships in the Guild of Passementiers in France, but we're going to focus on what it is and how to identify it! (If you want the history bits this will take you to Wikipedia, because all other articles on the topic are terrifyingly boring and wordy. In fact, if your'e having trouble sleeping click here.)
When googling images of passementerie, you typically find out-dated throw pillows and curtains with heaps of gold cording and giant tassels, but passementerie is quite often used in modern fashion in subtler ways that create big impact (ie. that Dolce & Gabbana dress on Olivia Palermo pictured above), it's just not always labelled properly. Which is why we've created the following guidelines to help you spot this dazzlingly intricate embellishment! Yay learning!
THREE SIMPLE RULES/GUIDELINES TO IDENTIFYING PASSEMENTERIE:
- It is usually made up of cords, threads, braiding, ribbon-like fabric, beads, and/or tassels arranged in repeated knots and loops. Sort of like a friendship bracelet except it doesn't have to be knotted, but if it helps just think of it like a really long friendship bracelet!
- Although it is associated with lining the edges of garments, passementerie has no limitations in regards to it's placement on a garment--IT CAN BE ANYWHERE.
- Do not confuse it with EMBROIDERY OR BEADING. It is an application to a garment, meaning it is made separately and then applied to the garment afterward.
Play a little game of "spot the passementerie" in the examples below, and you'll be an expert in no time!