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What's next for heritage?

Whilst looking through the pictures of our current homepage shoot, I was firstly marvelling about how the model looks composed under layers of twill and tweed, but also wondering where this love of heritage materials had come from. It wasn’t that long ago, that dressing like your granddad was not the thing to do.

I visited my friend Lee Paton’s studio, a designer who includes his family tartan in every collection, and who’s studio is a museum to Victoriana, how important heritage was to him and his work.

Lee said, “For me, using traditional woolen fabrics such as tweed or tartan is more about acknowledging sartorial craftsmanship and appreciating fine quality than following its recurring trend.”

“Tweed has always stepped in and out of fashion, from the Mods of the sixties wearing hounds-tooth to being launched into high fashion by Westwood in the 1980’s. The vintage revival over the last few years in the British indie scene is just the latest to enjoy the cloth.”

“It’s nice to see tweed being associated again with its original garments in soft tailoring, having originally been favoured for the leisurely pursuits of the Edwardian elite – shooting, fishing, driving etc. Of late, even the accessories and footwear markets have introduced it. Despite its resurgence though, it’s a shame that us Brits come half way down the list of countries that favour it enough to buy it.”

“In my collections each piece is based on it’s historic counterpart, components carefully sourced and garments constructed to last. For example, to qualify as an authentic Harris tweed the fabric must be hand-woven on the Isles of Lewis and Harris from Scottish wool and spun in one of the island’s few remaining mills. The perfected craft twinned with the sustainability of the cloth results in a fabric that is so rich in it’s own history before it even arrives in my studio that I am excited to find out where it has been and who created it before I even work with it. I look forward to continuing to do so right through until it’s next revival.”

Fashion is of course always developing and with the Olympics around the corner and the large amount of more relaxed, casual tailoring being seen at fashion week, I wonder what is next for heritage. Are we going to continue to look to the archives to be seen as fashion forward? Or will a more futuristic luxury sport look come to the fore?

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