The sparkling lure of Lurex
One of the pleasing things about the Anni Albers retrospective at Tate Modern (until 27 January) – and there are many – was my discovery that the artist had woven metallic thread through a selection of her textiles, including a free-hanging room divider from 1949, on loan from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The influential artist had succumbed to the allure of Lurex, incorporating it into her modernist project.
I grew up in a seaside town, and a deep-rooted fondness for end-of-the-pier sparkle is hard to shake off. Over the years, I have stockpiled a fine collection of both vintage and modern Lurex knitwear. An array of shimmering metallic tops is stored in a see-through box on a shelf in my wardrobe, giving the impression of a glittery cross-section of the earth’s layers. For me, the beauty of the metallic yarn shines through whether it’s on the body or off. Adding a little bling to the basics is the key to achieving low-key style with an elegant twist. At this time of year, however, there is a need to tread carefully – downplay the shimmer and shine with understated elements. Lurex is a showbiz staple and, whatever the occasion, one standout piece is enough. My leopard print lurex jumper from Bella Freud was a wonderful gift from Mr That’s Not My Age last Christmas and is a favourite for adding a little metallic sheen to a pair of black trousers.
Sparkle and shine add energy to a simple outfit. Try offsetting a metallic jacket with a basic T-shirt and a pair of faded black jeans. Temper a sparkly sweater with a pair of chic tuxedo trousers. Or dial down the glitz by teaming Lurex socks (from COS and & Other Stories) with your favourite party flats.
This is an extract of a longer feature written for The Financial Times How To Spend it HERE. Please note affiliate links in this post may generate commission.