Chaos to Couture
The Tartan Clan
Although I was born in America, I have plenty of UK lineage including a great grandmother that was Scottish. I've never been to Scotland myself, I did date a girl from Ayr for a short time if that counts for anything. And the closest I've come to wearing tartan was to a Halloween party at church when I was around eleven when my mother put me in one of her skirts and said "You're going as a Scottish person". Do yer dinger!
Most people, myself included could be forgiven for only equating Tartan with Scotland, however I learned this week that the fabric has a history dating back thousands of miles and years, long before the Highland clan association.
I suspect that even more will only know of it's modern role in fashion. The design, particularly the Royal Stewart has been prevalent in fashion ever since British punks along with Vivienne Westwood (the Queen of punk fashion) re-appropriated tartan as a fuck you to the British aristocracy in the 70s.
Fashion houses like Westwood and McQueen, arguably the most popular to do so, have included tartan in their Autumn collections for a couple decades now. Away from the couture it's no surprise that streetwear brands have embraced the fabric and tapped into it's history of rebellious punk to the more recent dissatisfaction of 90s grunge (plaid). It's ironic really that these outfits of defiance and opposition have become so mainstream.
One traditional use of the fabric was as heavy travelling cloaks worn to ward off the bitter cold of the Scottish winters. Even though where nearing the end of October, it's not yet turned cold here in the UK but we're seeing more tartan and plaid around. For your traditional punk look head to Supreme for a tartan outfit, and for a more grunge feel Pleasures have you covered in plaid. I'm a big fan of the breeks, but not so much of the entire ensemble. Examples can be seen below.
If you have what it takes to rock this iconic fabric get to the web stores before they sell out.