January 6, 2006

As I watched an old film, it struck me that no one uses ribbons in their hair or their dresses any more…I remamber a childhood where all my dresses had matching hair ribbons and we tried several types of bows when we finished braiding our hair. I also remember satin ribbons as belts on dresses, or threaded through them…but later, ribbons became a symbol of unsophisticated hick-dom and village (read, unfashionable) girls were depicted with their beribboned pigtails sticking up like a scorpion’s tail.

We had ribbon sellers who turned up at the front door with tall poles on which were ribbons of different widths, and a rainbow of colours. Or we had fun going and choosing ribbons (made of nylon in my day, mostly) matching our dresses…schools always specified the colour of the hair-ribbons as well as the rest of the uniforms. Strangely, multicoloured or printed ribbons were never in fashion.

What happened to ribbons? Will they ever make a comeback, imbued as they now are with the qualities of being dowdy and rustic? Will Alice ever wear a ribbon threaded through her hair instaed of an Alice band?