We’re so fashion, daahlings!
It might seem, from the outside looking in, that equestrianism and haute couture don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. True, jodhpurs no longer stick out round the thighs and virtually stand up on their own, like they used to in the 1950s, and many more technical fabrics are used since the days when cotton, wool and linen were pretty much it – but other than that, some might argue that the world of equestrian fashion has pretty much stood still. Not so fast, naysayers! We’d like to point out that the world of high fashion regularly borrows from us…
1. The first woman to wear jodhpurs for fashion reasons rather than riding practicality was none other than the legendary Coco Chanel, back in the 1920s. She was inspired to copy the breeches she saw worn by a friend’s groom.
2. The dropped waist and baggy thigh look of old-school jodhpurs may have fallen out of favour on the riding circuit, but it remains a trend in ‘urban street’ fashion, where it’s usually worn by young men with their pants showing!
3. Tweed is a perennial favourite for fashion designers. Model (and Kardashian) Kendall Jenner caused a sensation when she made her Chanel Haute Couture debut last autumn/fall wearing a red and black tweed off-the-shoulder dress.
4. American designer Tory Burch has been known to dabble in equestrian attire. Not only does she sell a range of riding boots, but she also regularly includes horse and equestrian-themed prints in her couture collection.
5. Ralph Lauren is a renowned horse lover – his brand Polo was invented to reflect his love of the sport, and his polo shirts are worn by celebrities and non-horsey folk alike, all over the world. He regularly designs equestrian-themed collections; his Blue Label’s first autumn delivery offers a youthful twist on horsey style, with updated twists on such signature items as jodhpurs and quilted jackets. Polo/Ralph Lauren presented “Man and the Horse”, an exhibit of riding clothing and accoutrements from three centuries at the Metropolitan Museum of New York Costume Institute in 1984, curated by Diana Vreeland.
6. New supermodel on the block Bella Hadid claims that “horse riding is my yoga.” The American dressage and showjumping diva appears in an equestrian-themed fashion shoot for the next edition of international style bible Porter wearing black jodhpurs and brown riding boots, clutching a saddle. Can we expect to see this look at London FashionWeek…?