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The invasion of the bow: from status sign to accessory of the season

From the catwalk to Tik Tok, the bow has emerged as an element of a new femininity. This is how it has evolved.

If we take a look at the latest beauty trends and the latest proposals of designers, we see how the bow has emerged as a new mandatory element in the global fashion paradigm. Whether as an XL piece or as an accessory in a look, this element has become key in the creation of a new femininity.

Brands are not the only ones who resort to it in their proposals, but the same celebrities or tiktok beauty gurus are incorporating them into their red carpet and GRWM looks respectively. Already at the 2020 Golden Globes Jennifer Lopez would become meme fodder wearing that maxi dress with Valentino bow.

A historical element

At the court of Versailles, clothing reached such a level of splendor that it became an example for all of Europe, and the whole world. Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV, made use of the “love knot” ribbons made with double-sided ribbons and two different widths. Later, as we see in portraits that have remained of her, Marie Antoinette would use the ribbons in dresses and hats created by her dressmaker, Rose Bertin.

The ribbon, thus, would remain as a symbol of prestige and social status whose use would be repeated by all bourgeois women of that time.

From tradition to accessory of the season

More than two centuries later, the bow has flooded runways and red carpets around the world. It’s impossible to separate this motif from the iconic black velvet sheath dress with a huge pink satin bow. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It was Yves Saint Laurent himself who popularized it in his FW 1984 collection. Several decades later, brands like Ralph Lauren and Schiapparelli have been inspired by the silhouette to give new meaning to the iconic dress.

That obsession with the ribbon has also been evident in TikTok, to link closely with #balletcore aesthetic,as well as the new luxury. In a thousand different ways, the motif has taken to the catwalks of brands such as Loewe, Chanel, Valentino and Simone Rocha to conquer the contemporary woman.

To continue its conquest, the ribbon is now shedding its historical meaning to acquire new nuances in the new century. It is no longer the purely feminine, delicate and status-generating symbol. It now combines symbolic delicacy with the most rebellious side of women through brands such as Cormio, Sandy Liang or Marc Jacobs, which give life to this element through their punk universe.

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