4 Ways to Update the Polka Dot Look
Who doesn’t love polka dots? They’re fun, youthful, and don’t take themselves too seriously. Polka dots have been hot for the last few seasons and they’ve gone through a number of variations. Designers have somehow managed to take the “itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny yellow polka dot” idea and morph it into something sophisticated and refined.
Historically, the polka dot was used only for clothing, and the pattern was created by spacing out each dot to the diameter of the circle. Since then, the pattern has been updated by manipulating the scale of the dot and negative space. Nowadays the pattern is used for everything from bathing suits to table linens to walls in a variety of colors and contexts. Let’s see how the polka dot has been updated.
This interior (left) is a fantasy scene created by photographer Tim Walker who plastered black polka dots on the white interior everywhere from the ceiling to the floors. The dots are spread out twice as far as their diameter. In this context, the polka dots seem more ethereal and whimsical. The same type of spacing is used on the dress (right) making it seem more elegant than playful.
The polka dot pattern on this door (right) was created in a shiny metallic bronze that elevates the playful polka dot. The polka dot skirt (left) is combined with bronze shoes to achieve the same look.
Polka dots are traditionally created by printing one color on top of another. Here, the polka dot pattern is created by shaping wood pieces and layering it onto the wooden hutch (left). It is complemented in fashion by layering several textures and patterns together (right).
Polka dots have taken a chaotic approach when labeled as confetti. The order and placement of the dots is more random and feels more like a party. Here, a confetti wall (left) was created by placing a mix of colored dots on the wall. A similar technique is used with this tank top (right).
How do you use polka dots? Do you use them in your home or in your wardrobe?