The Tartan Hall of Fame
- Published:18th Aug 2016
As you may have guessed, here at Alice’s Pig we love tartan. Tartan skirts, dresses, jumpsuits… heck we would have tartan printed tea if we could. So this week I’m going to show you some of music’s finest tartaneers… tartanites… tar-tanians!!
Bay City Rollers
To kick off our journey through the tartan hall of fame, we of course have to start with the ‘Tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh’ Yes, the Bye bye baby, shang-a-lang Bay City Rollers.
These boys from Scotland really pushed the boundaries of tartan styling. If you thought Avril Lavigne’s tartan tie was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Vintage style tartan culottes at their best.
Don’t feel sorry for them, people LOVED The Bay City Rollers. Girls even wanted them to be their boyfriends. Pretty cool right who else’s boyfriend wears a pair of patchwork tartan culottes with a matching waistcoat AND lace up boots?
Their stylist clearly didn’t want anyone to be in the dark that the floppy haired boys were in fact from Scotland. To give them credit these looks were pretty unique but don’t worry we won’t be including them as inspiration for AW17.
Number 2 of our top tartan wearers is none other than No Doubt. The pop rock band as far as I know are nowhere near Scotland in terms of historic ancestry, but nonetheless their kooky fashion sense favoured mad checks and plaids.
Gwen Stefani is in her own right a fashion icon (and designer) but it was with No Doubt that she rose to fame. Their music was unique and catchy but still had an edge, it was no way sweet as candy pop music. Her go to outfit was baggy tartan trousers tucked into lace up Dr Marten boots with a tiny cropped top. A true statement piece. She bounded around the stage like a psychedelic Lara Croft.
Next on the list is Andre 3000 from Outkast. Now Andre 3000 is a snappy dresser for sure but I think we can all agree that tartan overload from Andre was truly executed in the 2013 video for ‘Hey ya’’ In the video the lead singer Andre wears a 60’s inspired outfit of bright green shirt with black watch tartan trousers and braces. The video was inspired by the 1964 appearance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show which kicked off the British Invasion. Andre 3000 wanted to subvert this message back onto the English, so there he is with his band in traditional British horse riding outfits, tartan and even a crown.
The Sex Pistols
I could not write this blog without mentioning Punk now could I, and who better than London’s finest The Sex Pistols. Although they mainly favoured their leather jackets and Johnny Rotten’s strange cobweb knit jumpers, tartan was for sure an iconic image that will be held next to Punk in history. Malcolm McLaren was the creative force behind The Sex Pistols and as he happened to also have a rather like minded shop called ‘SEX’ together with Vivienne Westwood, he knew exactly what to dress them up in.
Tartan began to have a resurgence as a rebel’s uniform. Two fingers up to the establishment and to the British upper class, the likes of whom would have their own clan and tartan. The punks reversed the classic check and it became an iconic look for Punks of the late 70’s. Tartan was THE classic statement piece of the punk generation.
Last on the list is North Londoner Rod Stewart. You probably know Rod from his sonic the hedgehog inspired hair, voice that sounds like his throat is made of sandpaper and wife that’s half his age. Anyway Rod’s dad is Scottish so he came up with some corker tartan outfits. Consisting mainly of a tartan scarf which seemed to be about 3metres long coupled with either a tank top or just no top at all! Makes sense really, often my neck gets cold but nowhere else on my body...
So bad news if we have just put you off tartan for life because we aren’t stopping tartan anytime soon. From never-ending scarves to tartan kimono’s, they will all be back on WGSN one day!
Want more music? Take a look at this slightly more tasteful blog on things you might actually want to wear! Musician's style we are stealing.
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