The Timelessness of Fringe

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

By Guest Blogger ALEESHA HARRIS

Fringe is as much a part of cowboy culture as, say, denim and roper-heeled boots. While various tasseled styles, many of which have origins in First Nations culture, where fringe was first introduced as functional elements of design (the long strips of suede or leather worked to wick rainwater away from the body, for example) — these days, they are largely centred around making a fashion statement.


From jackets and chaps, to accent-hemmed skirts and even tassel-adorned handbags, fringe is one of the most identifiable elements of western wear today.

Photo by McKenzie Fotos.


But it’s not just riders who are buying into the look.


Thanks to the growing popularity in recent seasons of what’s being referred to by many fashion magazines as the “Americana” trend, fringed fashions have reemerged in mainstream style, as well. Several designers, such as the American brands Calvin Klein and Coach and the French brand CELINE, began prominently featuring fringe designs during their Spring/Summer 2018 collection shows. Appearing in various forms, from soft strands that fluttered in the breeze, to bold swaths of fabric swinging from the hem of mini dresses, the message was made clear: fringe has gone mainstream.

Photo by McKenzie Fotos.


And, ongoing appearances in the latest collections showed on the runways in recent months during fashion weeks in Milan, New York and Paris proves that it’s here to stay. And, fringe isn’t the only element of Western wear that’s seeping into mainstream fashion in 2019.


High fashion brands like CHANEL, Gucci and Dior have touched on elements of equestrian culture in recent seasons — moving away from more predictable influences of English riding styles such as polished field boots and sharply tailored hunt coats — instead, showcasing western-inspired elements such as prairie dresses, handkerchief neckties, yolked button-down shirts, denim-on-denim, cowboy boots and more.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.


And the proliferation of such pieces has surely led to an increase in Hollywood celebrities popping up wearing the trend including Gwen Stefani, Kendall Jenner and  Rosie Huntington-Whitely, further introducing the western aesthetic to a broader audience of fashion fans.

Gwen Stefani at a recent performance in Las Vegas, NV. Photo by @imalazyj


So, while these  influences have enjoyed a long history of appearing and reappearing in mainstream fashion throughout the years, it’s safe to say that these western wear pieces are sure to continue to leave an impression on fashion, this year and beyond.

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