My love of Tweed started in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s as a young child I was aware of my older family member, Granddad, Dad and uncles donning Tweed for big social events, those special occasions and shooting, my family have been farmers for about the last 6 generations and the Tweed is nearly as old.
Lately in the 2000’s Tweed seems to have had a renaissance, to the point where it has become a pinnacle of fashion and design, after all it’s the ultimate sports wear, a fabric that suits a multitude of functions and frankly suits modern life to a tee.
Lets face it, when we pass 30 jeans need thinking about, tee-shirts shouldn’t have logos and sports wear including trainers is a no.
In the last few years we have seen every fashion house, designer and brand’s recognize this whether on the catwalk or high street, weather in fashion magazines or on the TV, even the British Sci-Fi staple that’s is Dr. Who is now donning his finest Tweed sports jacket. Tweed has really become the fabric of 2010 and onwards and not a note in history never to pass 1950.
The connotations of Geography teacher have long passed, and now it’s the (misguided) footballer that is seen in the Best of Harris Tweed.
We can seen Harris Tweed used by Nike and high end designers, and a multitude of permutations on the high street, in everything from Clarkes shoes, to bags, and accessories. It’s truly a ‘manly’ fabric carved from a harsh Scottish landscape and transported to the inner cities of modern Britain.
Tweeds Britishness is it major selling point world wide, and with the worldwide obsession of becoming a British Gentleman, Tweed seems a perfect entry point. Look at Italian ‘business wear’ and classic clothing and Japan, and the ‘Young Foggy’ movement which even states Tweed in it’s manifesto….
Yet Tweed is not a hark back to the vapid vacuous vintage fashions and style that currently seems so enough, it’s a set forward, they are so many modern and contemporary take on what it stands for its an ever evolving art form. Take Guy Hill’s ‘Dashing Tweeds’ based upon not the pallet of the Isle of Harris but the night colours of London. I’m lucky enough to own two such suits and they empower me far beyond and other suits I own, the blend the heritage of Tweed with a forward look eye, they bring what could been seen as history dragging and screaming to the 21st Century, but in a way so classic my sons son could wear them and feel at home in is contemporary surroundings and the universe as a whole.
Tweed is a fabric you need in our wardrobe, where you realize it or not. Start with a classic sports jacket..Maybe a flat cap… and within a year, you’ll be buying a three-piece suit..
And when (not if) you do its not £9,000 plus on Savile Row you need to splash, a couple of hundred quid and you’re a king, and English Gent, a style icon, an piece of history and art that will NEVER fail.
Today I was working with three guys, all of whom were less than taken with Tweed, by the end of the day, with me talking with them, two were off to the shops. Tweed is everywhere and here to stay.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a country chap, looking for the perfect shooting suit, of a city boy wanting to peacock, Tweed is the fabric.
To quote (misquote Back to the Future) ‘I feel the need, the need for Tweed”