I'm going to openly admit that by saying tartan I mean plaid. But the fashion community likes to make even the most approachable pattern inaccessible and thus we have tartan. But this grandiose vocabulary harkens back to the knitted cloth highlander clans claimed, and these patterns were called setts. All I'm really waiting for is the day when Sarah Burton or Nicholas Ghesquiere coins this term as the new plaid. Naturally, I'm going to try to claim royalties.
But enough from this pseudo-Historian. Today, we're seeing this pattern everywhere, and it has been especially prominent in the collections of both fall 2013 and 2014. As illustrated above, every echelon of branding has their own take on the cold-weather classic. Stella McCartney is very obviously on board with a first-class ticket - don't mind me, I'm just pining away for the earlier picture of that mohair pull-over.
And don't think for a second that tartan hasn't taken over the accessories market as well. I'm sure we've all seen Céline's contributions, the tartan slip-ons and the leather-combination luggage tote. But above are some other options from the likes of Mango to more Stella McCartney.
Shown are the Fall 2013 collections from the following designers, each with their own take on the beloved pattern (clockwise); Creatures of the Wind, Creatures of the Wind, Phillip Lim, Karen Walker, Emerson, and Gryphon.
I cannot wait to pull ideas from these collections and make plaid- ahem, excuse me, tartan my own. And I've already seen even the most artless attempts at this fall trend - I'm looking at you mock-grunge teens with your boyfriends flannels wrapped around your American Apparel cut-offs.