Tweed Inspires Fashion Brands To Rediscover Past

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The New York Times declares the newest fashion fad among men to be “the steady infiltration of 19th-century haberdashery into the 21st-century wardrobe.” In other words: tweed. Military coats, vests, slim trousers (and even facial hair) have officially returned to the mainstream for menswear and designers are taking full advantage. Fall runway looks included tailcoats at Ralph Lauren, capes and bowlers at Alexander McQueen and knee breeches at Robert Geller.

We may not know what caused this renewed interest in tweed, and it could crash and burn into a flurry of costumes at next year’s Halloween parties. But don’t you just love to watch fashion brands in motion?[more]

The continuing popularity of painter Walton Ford (a collection of his works opened on Thursday night at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea) and the release of films such as “There Will Be Blood,” “The Prestige,” and next month’s “Sherlock Holmes” has allowed this revived trend of Victorian dandyism to flourish. Similarly, the look’s most popular components – tweedy vests, woolen trousers, henley undershirts, dark wool ties, scratchy cotton shirts – have inspired Eric Brewer, a gallery owner, to found the Dandies and Quaintrelles, a group that organized a recent Tweed Ride in Washington, D.C.

“I haven’t worn tweed in a while, but I’m rediscovering it,” Mr. Brewer said. “The Victorian era was about a very trim silhouette and form, and I’m seeing tweeds that are cut that way. The thing is, tweed looks very elegant, but it’s a very sturdy fabric, so you can be dapper and still appear manly and rugged.”

Their motto? “Leave the fleece, Lycra and outer shell at home. This ride is for the dandy.”

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