Although typically worn in the winter months, tweed has taken on a new identity as a summer fabric, and can be worn well into the dressier evenings. If you want to have a hint of old Scottish history, with a mix of modern flare, dress up in tweed this season.
Tweed is an uneven woolen fabric. It is quite soft, and often has specs of many different colours within it. Although it was traditionally for informal outerwear, particularly hunting, tweed was brought to a new social etiquette with Coco Chanel in 1923. Since then, tweed has evolved into a staple fabric for many different classes of people in many different activities.
French fashion house Chanel will always be the lead design house to look to for traditional tweed: from jackets to dresses to skirts. However, this season many other designers are competing with gorgeous contemporary tweed wear. Known for understanding the feminine form, Oscar de la Renta created a stunning tweed shift dress this season. The sleeveless, scoop neck, knee length dress has large flecks of pink and purple for an ultra feminine appeal.
Erdem, who was nominated for Designer of the Year, is bringing tweed into the evening scene. He paired a tweed A-line dress with sheer fabric to give the frock an illusion neck and peek-a-boo legs. The sheer fabric modernises and softens the look of the tweed. Fashion favourite Marc Jacobs designed a white, blue and black tweed sleeveless dress. The classic feel of the style is set apart by a black silk sailor tie that falls down the length of the dress, to just below the belt. The dress also features size pockets with black silk piping.
French couture fashion house Lanvin took the classic tweed Jacket, and gave it a few other contemporary stylings. The slightly distressed tweed jacket features unfinished hems all the way around, and an unusual shiny metallic tweed. The double feather seam down the back of the jacket and the back of the sleeves give it the ultimate ultra-modern appeal.
Celebrities are wearing this trend in nuanced ways this season. Naya Rivera, famous for her role as the cheerleader Santana Lopez on the television show Glee, recently wore a strapless sweetheart neckline tweed bodycon dress with silver ankle strap heels.
Jessica Biel, the actress who is also married to Justin Timberlake, continued to break the “tweed is for casual” stereotype with a Chanel white tweed strapless dress to the fashion MoMa event. She wore with an ornate metal Chanel necklace to give it contrast.
American darling Anne Hathaway shows how the trend can be worn in comfort and style: with a sweatshirt and jeans. She paired with simple espadrille flats and a small gold medallion necklace.
Tweed, to some degree, will always be “in style” so it is hard to get it wrong. However, think nuanced this season – and wear a tweed piece for a night out on the town, or in a form other than the classic jacket.
That’s the fashion scoop for this week. Got a thought? Trend? Style you hate? Send it my way.
Rachel Breaux is an American living in Rwanda