Chiffon. The very word is onomatopoetic, don't you think? That whisper-soft shhhh sound evoking the dreamy creaminess of this uber-glamorous fabric. But does anybody really sew with it anymore, other than for bridal wear -- or even like it?
There's something a little too much about chiffon, I think. It's so closely associated with dated concepts of glamour, old-school Hollywood, as well as pre-p.c. ideas about exoticism (and eroticism). Or campy, chiffon-shrouded B-actresses like Maria Montez, who embodied all of the above.
The heyday of chiffon was the 1950's and it's no wonder: fashion back then worked hard to sell women on femininity (and domesticity), and filmy, transparent chiffon was part of the picture. Think Helen Rose (MGM costumer in the late 40's and 50's of films like High Society and Designing Woman) -- and all things Vera-Ellen.
I have a little experience sewing with chiffon, which I used to make Cathy's flapper dress way back when. Chiffon can be hard to work with; it shifts.
I must have chiffon in my Scheherazade costume, however, so I hightailed it to the Garment District yesterday. At Chic Fabrics I found gorgeous chiffon and plenty of it, but when I took the bolts to be cut, I was told that what I'd assumed was poly chiffon was silk (sob!) and I just couldn't bring myself to pay $10/yd for silk chiffon, not that this isn't a very good price -- it is. There wasn't much poly chiffon at Chic, unfortunately.
At Fabrics For Less, poly chiffon was just $3 a yard (for roughly 44" bolts) and while it certainly wasn't as beautiful as silk chiffon, whose colors are subtler and texture softer, it will have to do. I bought six yards, in minty green, peachy pink, and pinky pink. Together, I think they're pretty, and I love the look of one color laid upon another.
In closing, readers, what are your thoughts about chiffon? Do you ever sew with it? Do you ever wear it?
Does it have any particular associations for you -- either positive or negative?
Chiffon -- Yea or Nay?