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Highland Fling Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Posted by kittylamour in Fashion, Opinions & articles.
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It seems as though the world of fashion has a direct tap into my brain right now, and is pulling out all my childhood fashion nightmares for recycling.
Last week I was talking about nauticals, now it seems that checks and tartans are making a comeback. Er… why??

As the child of a Scottish father (albeit without an accent or any particular passion for the place), in the 80s, the tartan kilt-skirt came second only to the sailor suit when it came to ‘smart wear’. In fact, it may even have usurped the sailor suit on several occasions, especially when visiting family above the border. I remember many instances where the hideous outfit – kilt, complete with ridiculous oversized decorative pin, teamed with white polo neck or (arg!) itchy arran jumper – was trotted out over the years. I believe there was even a trip to a kilt shop once, possibly the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, where we were supposed to ooh and aah over the different tartans on offer (for the record, my father’s family falls into the ‘Hunting Stuart’ bracket). And the least said about the evening of Scottish Country Dancing the better….So you can see why, once again, I don’t have an overt affinity for the style.  Of course, over the years several designers – most notably Vivienne Westwood – have embraced tartan (or ‘plaid’ as it’s called over the pond), but I still can’t get my mind away from it’s horrendous history.

 

The two dresses above (ASOS.com, and BooHoo.com, respectively) sum up for me everything that is wrong about tartan fashion. Loud, garish, tacky, costume-y (and not in a good way), there’s nothing with these two outfits that a bottle of petrol and a lit match couldn’t fix. The fact that the one on the left is retailing at a staggering £395 just goes to show that money can’t buy taste.

Now, I don’t mind a little bit of tartan as an accessory. My mum has a gorgeous pair of tartan pumps with a little black bow on the front, (in the style of Office’s sell-out Dolly Interbow line). And these beauties from the fall 2008 catwalks show that a little flash of red pattern goes a long way. However, like any bold pattern – including leopard print – it looks best when confined to small areas, and not draped across the whole body. Or, even worse, ruffled.

 Pics – DSquared on Style.com

Not only that (and I promise, I am getting near the end of my rant now!), but is it only me that thinks tartan really is a winter fashion? Summer is a time for bright colours, pretty pastels, lace, layers, flowers and fun – not something that came down from the Highlands and straight onto your local librarian.

So, if you’re thinking of buying something tartan this summer, stop and think. Do you really want to be invoking the spirit of Alexis Carrington crossed with a haggis, or would you rather get something in pastel polkadots instead?

 

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