Tartan and Tweed is a comprehensive look at the chequered history of tartan and tweed from their origins in the Scottish Highlands to their reinvention, growing and continued popularity and use in contemporary fashion design, music, art and film.
Both tweed and tartan are fabrics with a strong cultural identity and history. But they have been reinvented to create multiple meanings, particularly when used in street fashions and in haute couture to mimic or parody the aristocracy, and to act as a subversive symbol of rebellion. This lavishly illustrated book focuses on fashion over the last century whilst looking back at the journey these fabrics have made from traditional cloth to stylish fabrics. We follow the early popularity of tartan and tweed including the fabrics' connections from crofters and clans to aristocracy, and look at tweed's dramatic recovery during an economic crisis and its subsequent re-invention as desirable luxury fashion fabric.
The book explores the use of tartan and tweed in fashion in the collections of leading designers including Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Chanel who have used these textiles in a fresh, subversive way, while also paying tribute to their history. Making use of first person sources, historic documents, paintings and fashion photographs, this is a complete overview of tartan and tweed in Scotland and beyond.
Caroline Young is an Edinburgh-based journalist, fashion writer and blogger, and is the author of Classic Hollywood Style, Style Tribes and Tartan + Tweed.
Ann Martin is an award-winning journalist and author of the blog stylestamps.com. She has contributed to British Vogue, Red and the Glasgow Herald. She lives in Edinburgh.