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The two items above are both from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London- on the left is a traditional tweed shooting suit, and on the right are a collection of formal fox hunting jackets. They are both museum pieces- but both are still used today for sports in the British countryside- and I’m guessing that a lot/most of you have noticed all the ‘heritage’ pieces that designers regularly produce, based on traditional British clothes like these. Regardless of how you feel about the sports associated with these clothes, I think that they could teach us a few lessons about fashion:

  1. Fashion is about tradition and longevity, not just transistory ‘fast fashion’. Not only are these clothes continuing to be used and to be inspirational, but each individual garment is designed to last for years- maybe even generations.
  2. Style does not have to be anything conscious. Tweed has become fashionable again without its original wearers even noticing, and formal hunt dress is incredibly elegant even when worn by people who have absolutely no interest in fashion or style.
  3. Couture is art, and beautiful- but sometimes clothing needs to be functional, and go beyond mere aesthetics. These type of sporting clothes are incredibly well-made and very expensive, but designed to be used, to get dirty and to suffer hard wear. In some forms of design, especially architecture, it’s often said that functionality is beauty. Why shouldn’t the same apply in fashion?
  4. True British style is an attitude. These, and similar, clothes continue to be worn by people in the countryside, regardless of whether or not they are fashionable, just like some of the most stylish people all over Britain wear crazy, eccentric outfits, or more classic and elegant styles. They all share an attitude: ‘This is what I wear- because I want to.’

I know a lot of people are strongly against hunting, shooting etc, but if you like the whole red jacket and/or tweed look, then check out Sarah Farnsworth Photography for some great clothing shots and beautiful landscapes.

PLEASE don’t take this as an opportunity for political/animal rights view sharing… Just think about the clothes!!

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