Why does a trend seem to appear out of nowhere and how does to manifest itself into the main stream fashion market?
Influences come from all parts of our lives and can be quite subtle, creeping up on us until we all of a sudden have to have a certain print, pattern or colour in our wardrobes or gracing our homes.
One way it comes through is from movies and television, pop culture if you will.
There are a few series that I’m hooked on at the moment, that I know for certain have influenced the fashion market.
Psychological hothouse “House of Cards”, the Medieval fantasy “Game of Thrones”, 1970’s groove of “Vinyl”, the munificent Three Musketeers and above all, the fabulous Scottish Highlands drama STARZ “Outlander”. If you missed the first series you can catch up on it FREE until the next series starts on April 9.
Now in it’s second series “Outlander” follows the story of English nurse Claire, portrayed beautifully by Caitriona Balfe who wears some very stylish costumes.
She’s fresh from the battlefields of WW2, and her journey back to early eighteenth century Scotland where she meets the strapping young Scot Jamie Fraser, who saves her from imminent peril.
From there we are swept up in a tale of time travel, romance and the harsh realities of life in the 1700’s.
Oh and the fact that Jamie Fraser played by the gorgeous Sam Heughan, spends the entire time in a kilt and quite often without a shirt, makes it must see TV!
In Scotland, the plaid, tartan and kilts they wear, the clans and customs they celebrate, all have a rich heritage dating back to ancient times.
The tartan’s of the time would have had a quieter beauty than today’s brighter equivalents.
They imparted great dignity for the clans, and over the centuries these groups became fiercely attached to the unique “chequered” patterns developed exclusively for their members use.
This year we see “Outlander” travelling from the misty hills and valleys of the highlands of Scotland to the cobbled pavements of Paris, where fashion was led by the court of King Louis XV and the haute bourgeoise in Jamie and Claire’s time.
In today’s interpretation we see strong vibrant colours just like this fabulous jacket from Polo Ralph Lauren.
There is something so cosy about tartan, I just love it.
I’m also loving this black watch tartan dress by the same designer, but notice how the look is softened by the use of a delicate fabric, a tough yet romantic edge.
And tartan isn’t the only trend that will be sparked by this great series.
Think chunky knits in earthy tones, and the trusty cape, which has already made a spectacular debut on this seasons runways.
Think Chloe, Gucci, Valentino and front row at the Chanel Couture show.
The shearling jacket for both men and women is a favourite of mine.
Loving a dark brown leather number, with cream shearling lining.
So sexy, ultra masculine and a nice change from a classic leather style, it takes us back to the early 20th century pioneering pilots.
Jumping the channel to Paris and we are in completely different territory.
Think delicate laces, silks and leather, and this winter the boutiques will be flooded with these fabrics.
Teamed with super soft cashmere, it’s a potent combination.
Givenchy’s romantic Rococo influence, showing a beautiful décolletage so prized by ladies at court at the time.
The Australian label Zimmermanm recent nod to corsetry, was definitely influenced by this historical chapter.
So who knows’ what adventures and turbulence will follow Claire and Jamie in season two of hit series “Outlander”.
All I know is I’m loving it and the influence on todays fashion.
And I must say, after meeting the divinely handsome Sam Heughan in person at Sydney’s Bondi Beach over the weekend, I’m going to enjoy it all the more.
He was a delight to meet, and yes, charming and ridiculously handsome in the flesh.
When he flashed that winning smile, my heart started to race! This man has star quality in spades.
Oh to be in Claire’s shoes and wrapped in Jamie’s kilt! Now there’s a thought!
Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016