For our brides and grooms loving the Rockabilly look and wanting to add some touches to their wedding styling, let Theme Queen help you. They will be with us in London of February 21st showcasing their fab style and today are sharing some ideas.
The rockabilly look is well established in the world of fashion these days and is also the inspiration for many vintage weddings. The symbols or elements of the rockabilly look are familiar, but their history dates back even further than the 50s rock and roll era in which they came to prominence.
Polka dots, for instance, originally experienced a boom in the late 20s – Miss America Norma Smallwood won the title in 1929 sporting a fetching polka dot print one piece swimsuit. In the 30s, black or blue dots on a white background became a must have for the summer months, and by the 1950s the hottest celebs from Marilyn Monroe to Audrey Hepburn were often seen wearing them in photo shoots.
Other key rockabilly imagery of course derives from classic tattoos by legends such as Sailor Jerry. These became more widespread in the post-war era with many ex-navy men commemorating their years of service this way.
A swallow tattoo traditionally indicated that a sailor had sailed 5000 miles, and swallows are also associated with the idea of return. This “return” symbolism is rooted in two ideas. The first was the swallow’s famous migration pattern, always returning to their homeland. Second, it was believed that if a sailor dies at sea, these birds carry his soul home to heaven.
At sea, the anchor is the most secure object in a sailor’s life, making it the perfect representation of stability. This is why you’ll often see them emblazoned with “Mom” or the name of a sailor’s sweetheart – the people who keep them grounded.
The appropriation of cherries as a symbol by rock’n’roller girls in the 50s was of course a form of rebellion, giving a hint of naughtiness and a sexy frisson to their attire – often through brooches or earrings. The phrase ‘losing your cherry’ had actually been around in the US since the late 1800s – and Revlon famously exploited its risqué connotations in their 1940s ‘Cherries in the Snow’ ads.
All four of these symbols are featured in our Rockabilly Retro wedding theme table décor – check out the Theme Queen website for more details.
This is a guest post as part of our exhibitor package