The recent invasion of Scottish football fans in London during the Euro football tournament were hard to miss, clad in plaid even over here in Bethnal Green London. Rightly or wrongly and being an oddball of sorts my initial thought were of Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten and his Seditionaries’ tartan trousers.
Les Anglais didn’t really dig tartan in ye olden days, as a rule. Indeed after the battle of Culloden in 1746 the British government decreed in the 1747 act for the abolition of Highland Dress that “no man or boy, within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, should wear plaid….” bit harsh.
Fast forward to the mid-19th century and the English landed gentry started buying palatial pads in Scotland and customising their own tartans such as lady Balfour at Cairngorms estate. Complaining that she could not remember the names of all of her keepers and “gillies” who had until then dressed identically. So Balfour set about giving them unique tartan uniforms to make them more identifiable for her to remember and their role in the house.
King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson undoubtedly made an impression on the international spread of tartan along with other Scottish fabrics of Argyle and tweed, at a time when newspaper images lasted months doing the rounds, these two cats were the: Sartre & Simone or Kanye & Kim of the day.
Bold Scottish tartan was later appropriated by the US Ivy League college set further firming tartan outside of Scotland (a warrior dress code) linked to the upper echelons of class and wasp country set. Right up to 1990's cinematic depictions of Brits in Hollywood usually involved a dash of tartan so geographically disorientated was tartans perception internationally.
Deeper into the 1950’s most tartan in London’s Piccadilly hunting and shooting type shops had firmly positioned tartan to the double-barrelled turkeys who shoot animals for fun- a la James Masons film ‘The Shooting Party'.
In the 1960’s it was starting to loosen up as a fabric choice with bizarrely a trend for London’s drinking club walls and furniture being decked out in tartan such as the; Bag O’ Nails and of course The Scotch club. With it came a revival of the English dandy as shown on the cover art of the Kinks Dandy 7” vinyl sleeve.
The 1970’s were most probably the most seismic shift for the Scottish nobility warrior cloth. In the early part of the decade there were it seems tartan clad teenagers all over the UK in their polyester fur lined bomber jackets with fake fur collar and double buckle. Any boy born in the UK in the 1970’s has a photograph somewhere in their family photo album sporting this highly flammable tartan jacket usually sat on a Raleigh Chopper or holding their prized conker aloft. Then of course we had the Bay City Rollers and Rod Stewart episode, which seemed to push tartan to the precipice of style it looked like the Brits had finally doomed tartan for everyone.
Thankfully at the eleventh hour of the 1970's The Sex Pistols by way of the McLaren & Westwood SEX boutique on the Kings Road in London saved the day. Anyone setting foot on a grouse moor wearing this style of tartan ran the risk of having the guns turned on them, so highly did it rile the original intended wearers.
I’m pretty sure that had Mr.Rotten not worn tartan so well that it would have not of had such international appeal it deserves today. Tartan might very well now be considered; 50% clan 50% punk outside of bonnie Scotland?
At this time with miles of tartan fabric now flooding the market it made its way into the lining of duffle coats and Harrington jackets from: Millets, London Fog to Brooks Brothers et al.
In the 1986 Jim Jarmusch film ‘Down by law’ Tom Waits character wears a very natty pair of tartan strides (a la Terry Hall around this time and worthy of a mention) and John Laurie sports an over-shirt not too dissimilar to the Anglozine LAYNE overshirt in this confusingly tartan heavy American cult film.
Anglozine went to one of the oldest family run wool tartan mills Lochcarron, based in the Scottish Borders at Waverly Mill, Galashiels. The company started by John Buchan. Mr Buchan produced Scottish craft weaving and handloom wool tartans way back in 1892.
Lochcarron have the worlds most comprehensive range of wool tartans with over a thousand in its archive. How we managed to whittle down the Anglozine selection to just three for our TRIP, LAYNE and CODY styles is a feet in itself.
Here is a historical breakdown of the Lochcarron tartans selected for Anglozine AW21 collection, if your thinking of making a purchase but undecided on which tartan we can send a swatch, contact us on email@example.com its nae' bother.
Stewart Hunting Tartan
The Royal Stewart tartan generally referred to simply as the Royal Tartan, has been associated with the Royal House of Stewart for a good few centuries. With links to King Robert the Bruce and the first Stewart king, King Robert II the ‘chief of chief’ tartan- used on the Anglozine TRIP style.
Norman in origin the first of this clan settled in Roxburghshire in the 13th century. Sir Robert de Chisholm was constable of Urquhart Castle in the 14th century. In the Jacobite Rising of 1715 the Chisholm estate were forfeited and following a pardon reinstated in 1727. The Chisholm clan supported Prince Charlie during the 1745 rising and one of the seven men who hid the Prince in their Glenmoriston cave after the battle of Culloden was a Chisholm.
For nearly 700 years the Buchanan land on the east side of Loch Lomond were owned by the Buchanans. The Gaelic translation of the name is known as Mac a’ Chanonaich = ‘Son of the Canon’. The land was originally given to the clan by King Malcom II as a reward for fending off the Danes. The Buchanan clan King Robert the Bruce during the war of independence and battles of Flodden, Pinkie and Langside. Its also claimed that there were Buchanans among the 7000 Scots who assisted the French King after the Battle of Agincourt in 1421- a punk two finger salute on that one!
Check out the Anglozine Lochcarron tartan styles and check back when it gets cooler for more tartan styles coming through.