A Blue Christmas

Feeling blue? As Christmas rolls around, we are normally filled with Christmas cheer, joyous music, and street lights lit up with red and green décor as far as the eye can see. However, the recognition of blue during December is often forgotten. Blue is a symbol for both the Christian and Jewish tradition around December. Have you ever heard the song “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley? It is a pretty popular Christmas song from the late 1950s. Elvis brought us Christmas from a different viewpoint. A sad, depressing one; quite the opposite of what we picture Christmas to look like. Blue is also a symbolic color for the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. Blue is a part of the Israeli flag. The blue stripes on their flag are also the color found on a tallitot, which are Jewish prayer shawls worn for special occasions such as Jewish weddings, in synagogues, and bar mitzvahs.

So why is blue relevant at Christmas time? Blue often evokes a feeling of sadness and just simply joylessness. We hear it in songs like Elvis’s blue Christmas, but this can be a real feeling for many people around Christmas time, especially in the cold winter. In the mid 1990s, many Christian congregations began to hold another service in addition to the four main Advent services. It takes place in the late Advent season, around the 21st. It is a form of worship for those dealing with sadness, depression, loss, etc. Everything is not always well. In the mid 1990s, the Protestant church adapted this and literally calls it “Blue Christmas”.  The special service is actually helping spread the love of Christmas. They are said to help save lives every year because they are a place for the poor in spirit to go.

In honor of today’s “Blue Christmas” and the overall talk of blue in December, we are going to be focusing on a few fashionable ensembles that are blue, of course.

A close up of a Malcom Starr coat sleeve. The company was well known for the simplistic style, yet elaborated beaded and sequined additions.

To the right is a Malcolm Starr light blue wool short evening dress and coat with a silver braid along with beading on the dress neckline and coat sleeves. It ranges in date from 1965-1970 and actually originates from Hong Kong. The designer, Malcolm Starr, was made popular in the 1960s and 1970s because of his evening dresses. What made them special? He usually stuck with a very simple design, however there would always be very detailed beading and sequin work, making it attractive to the eye. As well as evening dresses, the company was well known for suit jackets and coats. Our featured Malcolm Starr is a great example of his finest work.



Next up is a royal blue wool knit cardigan that would fall slightly below the waist. The neckline, closure, and sleeves have six rows of gold sequins giving quite the sparkle. The lower half is a royal blue silk chiffon with a woven-in angular pattern. The blouse is a sleeveless silk crepe. On the front of the blouse, it has rows of 5 rows of gold sequins. It dates back to 1980 and was made by the designer, Adolfo. The story if Adolfo Sardina is a very interesting one. He actually got his start in Paris, like many other famous designers such as Scaasi. Adolfo was an apprentice to the very famous Balenciaga. He was admired from all around, but was mainly persuaded to leave Paris for New York.  He worked for Emme in 1953, and two years later won his first Coty Award. The Coty Award is “Coty American fashion Critics’ Award”, which started in 1942 under the company Coty. In 1962, he opened his own business. His confidence and determination paid it forward because in 1969 he received another Coty Award. This one was special, however. His “head to toe” designs were admired greatly. he had developed his own theory that if he could design a hat well, then he could do anything. The same was true for men’s clothing. By 1976 he was producing men’s clothing for Leon of Paris, and then in 1977 got nominated once again for a Coty Award.

Adolfo truly believed in fashion from “head to toe”. He came out with even more than just a gown or a hat. He introduced swimwear, luggage, shirts,  neckwear, boy pants, men’s slacks, and even more beyond that.

He mentioned, “A person can look put together without appearing too rigid or too extravagant…If people are astute enough to combine different clothes with flair and style, they can create their own fashion. We all must maintain the freedom to show off individuality. Fashion should be revolutionary, but always in the direction of good taste.” His love for fashion and good taste went hand in hand, that is one ting that made his work so special.

If you’re feeling sad this Christmas, just know that there’s always a place for you to go. “Blue Christmas” is a term many people can sing about in a song, but it is an actual part of life and there is always hope. So, spread the love this Christmas season no matter who you are, and don’t forget to help other people out. On a happy note, we were able to showcase some of the best work by designer Adolfo and the company Malcolm Starr. Both were special in there own way. Malcolm Starr made simplistic styles stand out with elaborate beading and sequinning and Adolfo used his love of fashion from “head to toe” to create a sense of good taste in clothing.



Why Is It That Blue Christmas Services Make Me A Little Blue?

Why Are Blue and White Hanukkah Colors?




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