Throughout the decades, teenagers have attempted to prove their coolness by wearing questionable accessories, hairstyles and items of clothing. Hindsight Fashion is a section about those trends that, in Hindsight, we probably wish we hadn’t worn.
The Twine Necklace (also referred to as the Hemp Necklace or Rope Necklace) was a fashion borne out of the surf. Though people have been weaving various twine-like textiles into jewelry for thousands of years, the Twine Necklace really came into its own in the mid to late 1990’s. The technique utilized any rope-like material braided and knotted together and most often suspended beads periodically throughout the necklace.
My first introduction to the world of Twine Necklaces came in the form of Summer Camp. At 13 years old I entered into my second year at a Sports Summer Camp in Muskoka, Ontario. This is humourous because I am probably the least coordinated or athletic person I know. The camp offered intense training in gymnastics, basketball, tennis, skateboarding, waterskiing, sailing and several other sports that I did not care about. I majored in Arts and Crafts. Upon entering my Arts and Crafts class, I was struck by the fact that everyone wore the same type of Twine Necklace. My mission was clear. I set to work weaving as many Twine Necklaces as my little teenaged neck could support.
Homemade Twine Necklaces were almost always tied onto your neck without the use of a clasp. The trouble with this was twofold: First, depending on the material used, they could be very itchy. So, in addition to your Summer Camp mosquito bites, you would be tugging at your itchy Twine Necklace all the time, unable to remove it without cutting the masterpiece that you had so carefully crafted. Secondly, since wearing your Twine Necklace all the time meant wearing it in the shower, swimming, and in the sun, after a few weeks they would begin to take on a faint mildew smell that had incredible wafting powers. Not the best way to attract your Summer Crush.
As such, Twine Necklaces had an expiry date that most often corresponded with the end of Summer. Though I have sadly had to retire mine, the Twine Necklace will always hold a very special place in my heart and remind me of a more simple time. A time when, armed with a spool of rope and some beads, I wove my way to a chic and mildewy fashion statement.