It’s no secret that everyone’s mad about prints this season. This week, our focus is on one of the most iconic patterns of all time: tartan. Get ‘red-y’ to introduce some of these beauties into your autumn wardrobe!
Contemporary styling has revolutionised traditional tartan into a fashion statement. Within the Dents AW15 collection, it goes to show how striking it looks in the form of our fabric-back gloves, handbags, hats and scarves. When we think ‘tartan’, we’re instantly reminded of its most recognisable colour scheme: Royal Stewart. It’s hard to miss the vibrant red material, particularly against its contrasting cross-bars that overlap in bold greens and blues, to name but a few colours.
Royal Stewart can be a little overwhelming if you’re not sure how to style it right. Team no more than two matching tartan pieces together – after all, less is more when it comes down to wearing such a bold material. Keep your other garments plain, preferably in colours that match the accented hues from your tartan accessories. For a more daring ensemble, why not go the extra mile with more berry red accessories, like the ones above?
But don’t forget, there are so many other traditional colour varieties for you to experiment with in the men’s and women’s collections, including Autumn Buchanan, Black Watch, and Royal Blue. If you’d prefer a modern take on the trend, inject scarves in bright colours – such as Azalea pink and cool Turquoise – into your outfit.
Tartan has a long history that is mostly associated with ancient Scotland. Some of the earliest known tartan goes as far back as the third or fourth century AD. It’s said that different designs were worn to represent each of the Highland clans and families. Kilts made of this material are now part of the traditional Highland dress. Fun fact: one of the first recorded mentions of tartan dates back to 1538, when King James V purchased “three ells of Heland Tartans” for his wife to wear.
Still want to know what makes tartan worth investing in? You may not realise the amount of intricate weaving that goes into creating it. Take a look at this fascinating video from YouTube, to give you a visual insight behind the modern weaving processes…
Now for the technical bit. Made of interlocking stripes, tartan’s check pattern (known as the ‘sett’) is almost always symmetrical. It’s repeated in the same sequence both vertically/length-wise (AKA the ‘warp’) and horizontally/width-wise (AKA the ‘weft’). The coloured threads mix into new hues where they overlap.
We think there’s no better print to wear this autumn. Which statement pieces have caught your eye?