Guest post – Laurel Remington, author of The Polka Dot Shop.
The Polka Dot Shop by Laurel Remington is a new favourite contemporary middle grade novel. It is modern, moving and I adore the vintage shop setting. I particularly love how a classic polka dot dress sets events into motion and brings people together. I am delighted to host a guest post from author Laurel Remington. She has written some fun facts about polka dots Fun facts about Polka Dots!
I’m delighted to announce that The Polka Dot Shop, my third book for ages 9+, is out on 5th July 2018. The book tells the story of 13-year old Andy, who has a hate-hate affair with her mum’s vintage shop and the ‘pre-loved’ clothing she is forced to wear. But when she discovers a classic polka dot Chanel dress, Andy begins to change her tune. She embarks on a journey to transform her mum’s shop into something fabulous, and ends up transforming herself in the process. In honour of Andy’s foray into fun, friendship, and fashion, here are some fun facts about polka dots!
- The word “polka” derives from “Polish woman” (Polska) in Polish, and in Czech, it translates to “little woman or girl.” Not a bad name for such a fun and feminine print.
- The exact connection between the polka dance craze of the mid 1800s and the pattern of dots is not known. The first printed use of the term was in the American women’s magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1857. There was a description of a: “scarf of muslin, for light summer wear, surrounded by a scalloped edge, embroidered in rows of round polka dots.”
- The first known photograph of polka dot clothing is from 1865. A woman is sweeping a floor in a baggy polka dot shirt tucked into a striped skirt with a polka dot apron.
- In America, the polka dot craze began in 1926, when Miss America was photographed in a polka dot swimsuit. In 1951, Marilyn Monroe was famously photographed in a polka dot bikini. In 1960, the trend resurged with the release of Brian Hyland’s song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”.
- Minnie Mouse was introduced by Disney in 1928, wearing a red polka dot dress and matching bow.
- In 1940, Frank Sinatra’s released his ballad “Polka Dots and Moonbeams”, capturing the height of polka dot mania. That same year, the Los Angeles Timesassured its readers: “You can sign your fashion life away on the polka-dotted line, and you’ll never regret it.”
- In the famous wartime poster from 1942, Rosie the Riveter is wearing a red and white polka dot headband.
- Polka dots are not just for women. In 1962, Marvel Comics unleashed its polka dot-clad superhero – Polka-Dot Man – who used the power of polka dots to defeat baddies.
- The leader in the mountain section in the Tour de France wears a polka dot jersey.
- In the 2001 film Legally Blonde, Elle Woods’ college counsellor said: “Harvard won’t be impressed that you aced History of Polka Dots.” Can a woman ever be taken seriously in polka dots? I think so.
- As Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama reminds us: ‘Our earth is only one polka dot among millions of others’.
With all that in mind, let’s wear those dots proudly!