THEATRE OF FASHION - 20C VINTAGE  CONTEMPORARY FASHION

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Equestrian fashion - Riding jackets

b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion---Riding-jackets-20s.jpgThe Equestrian and Victorian Trend

 

  'Equestrian is always in...' ~ Ralph Lauren

 

 

The distinctive and very elegantly sexy Victorian and equestrian looks are very on trend ~ and with their timeless elegance, always will be...

 

As design icon Ralph Lauren asserts, 'equestrian is always in' ~ perhaps because it can be worn with as much flair as fits your personality and always instils a sense of timeless class and subtle femininity as inherited by the Victorians who were able to achieve both rather admirably. So, don the leather riding boots and delight in the gorgeous hour glass silhouette intrinsic of the riding jacket, Equestrian-fashion--1.jpgor just as striking, the tailcoat, harking back again to the Victorian and Edwardian era.....

 

Women have always styled and worn their own versions of what is, or was, considered to be ostensibly men’s fashionable dress, with riding coats and all things ‘equestriana’ being no exception. From the 1870s, the more 'masculine' shape of women’s’ riding costume began to evolve into garments reminiscent of their daywear bodices ~  keeping the lapels and collars of men's jackets, but defining the shape of things to come in terms of the now familiar fitted silhouette with its rather romantic look of defined waist and long frock coat shape.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion.jpgThe dawn of the Edwardian age saw the emergence of the blazer and, with the addition of darts, this new coat shape became trimmed to flatter the female form ~ a silhouette still echoed today in riding coats and jackets. 

 

By the 1910s, women's riding jackets had lengthened ~ a modification that adhered to the long lines of the columnar fashions, resulting in a style that would dominate riding wear well into the 1920s.b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion---Riding-jackets-40s.jpg  The introduction of jackets that were cut away at the front came from a solution to the previous square-fronted jackets being damaged against the saddle when riding, while the outer skirt became flared at the back to drape comfortably over the saddle ~ and with the flattering, form-enhancing darts back in place, the cutaway frock coat was quickly adopted as a fashion staple by equestriennes and non-sporting women alike to become the classic, definitive 'riding' jacket or coat.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion---Riding-jackets-01.jpgThe distinctive, beautiful and timeless shapes of Victorian and Edwardian riding wear are fully evident in the modern trend for the equestrian look, with smart yet sexy coat and jacket shapes in various styles and lengths ~ single or double breasted, in wool/cashmere, tweed or velvet; short, chic jackets with military embellishment in the form of buttons, loops or braiding; long, flowing velvet coats with contrast trim, corset-style lacing, fitted or belted waists and bustle-style backs; the classic shape and authentic look of riding coats with smart tailoring and asymmetrical buttoning ~  it’s little wonder that contemporary designers and brands such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Hermès constantly extol the virtues of, and continue to rework, the equestrian aesthetic.

 

 

Equestrian-fashion-010.jpgRiding wear often stands out from other looks with its fabulous and fitted tailoring, powerful silhouettes, romantic elegance, smart detailing and the often huge sweeping coat skirts. These are garments that continue to stand the test of time and whether vintage or contemporary, they evoke the Victorian ethos for quality, shape and style that’s perfect for a trend able to traverse so many modern looks; from the elegance of the courtyard and countryside via Gothic Noir, Dandy, Poet, Mistress, Steampunk, military, pirate and more...equestrian style is endlessly evocative and beautifully timeless...

 

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