By Jove … we’ve been Gizoogled!
Da Skilt story
Hi, hoes call me Richard. I be tha designer, sample maker, model, webmaster, n’ salez manager here at Skilt. Together wit tha thang crew up in our Bethnal Chronicworkshop I aim ta brang you pimpin qualitizzle kilts dat is eye catchin n’ practical ta wear.
How tha fuck it started
I looted mah first kilt up in bout 2002 – a cold-ass lil skanky black one dat I just wore ta go clubbing. It wasn’t until 2007 while I was on holidizzle up in tha States when I saw mah first contemporary kilt wit press studz n’ pockets – a Utillikilt. Upon returnin ta London I went online n’ ordered mah crazy ass one. I loved dat shit. I wore it around hood n’ loved tha erections. I was hooked.
One dizzle I was lookin down at trouserz of mah pinstripe suit n’ I gots tha idea ta create a pinstripe button-up kilt. I looted some fabric, mah playa flossed mah crazy ass how tha fuck ta thread her sewin machine and, nuff minutes later, I had made mah first kilt. It was a lil short n’ a funky-ass bit rough around tha edges but I was aiiight wit dat shit. In fact people’s erection was so positizzle dat I decided ta take thangs further.
One night I had a idea fo’ a kilt brand. Commando Kilts. I was horny bout tha playful allusion ta what tha fuck lies beneath n’ tha association wit tha military. I gots straight on tha internizzle n’ checked ta peep if tha URL was available and, ta mah surprise n’ delight, it was. I was buckwild.
Over tha next few weeks I hit dat shizzle on a logo design, gots permission from Wilkinston Sword ta feature tha Fairbairn-Sykes commando dagger, n’ busted mah application ta tha patent crib ta peep if I could regista dat shit.
There was a cold-ass lil couple objections n’ I was a funky-ass bit worried dat tha Royal Navy could git heavy wit mah dirty ass. As I was waitin ta smoke up tha result I set bout designin a funky-ass mo’ betta kilt.
Da design challenge
I loved mah Utillikilt but a cold-ass lil couple thangs bugged mah crazy ass bout it: tha pockets was not detachable, n’ tha waist wasn’t adjustable. An engineer by hustlin, I set bout comin up wit a elegant design dat would address these issues. Over tha next few months I made mah dirty ass kilt afta kilt. Each one tryin up a thugged-out different idea.
Da first thang ta git right was tha pockets. After nuff iterations I found dat a simple strip of velcro coupled wit belt loops fo’ strength did tha thang. Stylin wise I took inspiration from British Army combat threadz. I be a gangsta yo, but y’all knew dat n’ mah first thang design was tha Combat Kilt. I lined up manufacturin up in Vietnam … but didn’t yet have tha trademark on ‘Commando Kilts’. Should I wait? Or could I come up wit another name as a stop gap?
Tomothy Vincent, a oldschool playa of mine, came up wit tha name Skilt up in a funky-ass domestormin session. I didn’t like it at first but it kind of grew on mah dirty ass. I was horny bout its simplicity, dat it was less overtly army macho, n’ tha possibilitizzle it could kind of be tha ‘hoover’ or ‘xerox’ of tha modern kilt.
Da logo design moved like quickly from a swooshy S ta a squished S ta represent tha foldz of tha pleats.
Da patterns was made, tha label was designed, n’ a cold-ass lil couple months later mah first batch of ‘Combat Skilts’ arrived from Vietnam.
Da London kilt
Da kilts from Vietnam was pretty phat n’ playas was horny bout em. But they weren’t exactly what tha fuck I had hoped fo’ n’ I was pissed tha fuck off. Communication was always goin ta be a issue n’ you can hardly bust a kilt back ta be altered if you spot a problem. I needed somewhere mo’ local.
Volunteerin at a Whitechapel sewin charitizzle fo’ playas recoverin from menstrual illnizz I was dirty ta receive sewin tuizzle from tha straight-up dope Arif n’ Anhar. With they muthafuckin help I came up wit tha Funky-Ass Skilt design dat not only nailed tha waist adjustment issue but also pioneered a modular method of kilt construction dat allowed fo’ simpla patterns, alternatin pleats, banged pleats, n’ reflected piping.
After tryin up nuff muthafuckin local workshops Arif put me up in bust a nut on wit mah current thang crew. They is a funky-ass busy bunch n’ it can sometimes be a cold-ass lil challenge ta fit tha kilts tha fuck into tha thang schedule but they always pull tha stops up when one of mah thugs needz a kilt fo’ a special occasion.
Kilts is bustin up in popularitizzle as pimps around tha ghetto embrace they creativitizzle n’ individuality. I hope dat Skilt will continue ta delight pimps n’ dem hoes around tha ghetto. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass.
If yo ass is horny bout kilts up in general n’ Skilts up in particular I’m open ta tha possibilitizzle of partnershipz of all kinds. If yo ass is experienced up in PR or fashizzle retail n’ is horny bout muthafuckin helpin take Skilt ta tha next level please do git up in touch.
A man skirt can only be pulled off if teamed with chunky shoes, a dark top, and for those less adventurous, pants. The key is to keep it masculine and strong and not have the skirt as the outfit’s centerpiece.
It’s about time men threw off their fashion social shackles, took off their pants and put on a skirt! It’s much more liberating, and isn’t this precisely what we women fought for when we wanted to wear pants? Ironically, Paris revoked a 200-year-old law only three days ago, which stipulated women can’t wear pants in public unless given permission by authorities. This absurd law obviously wasn’t followed or enforced, but the symbolism of women’s rights not being supported in Parisian law was enough for the people to force a change.
In the same way, men wearing skirts isn’t about men adding to their wardrobe or being edgy, it’s about receiving the same freedoms as women enjoy in fashion. It’s certainly not about being constrained to socially approved, preconceived notions of what a man should look and dress like. Bottom line is if you want to wear a skirt in public, there shouldn’t be a single thing stopping you.
According to Greg though Paris may be regarded by many as the fashion capital of the world Parisiens are not so confident when it comes to wearing what they design. “You’ve got London for that” he says. Greg’s just been back to pick out his second Skilt: another black one but with fire insert pleats. We are sure he’ll set Paris alight.
The section of the show was related to the mens’ prostate cancer charity Movember and bizarre (I would have said magnificent) facial hair in general. I was invited to attend as I recently became British freestyle beard champion.
If you can be bothered to sit though the adverts our section starts at 17 minutes: Alan Titchmarsh show
Please donate to my Movember page
I have a shot at wearing either my Union Flag or George Cross kilt on TV for promotional purposes.
It is for a show called Russel Howard’s Good News. To stand a chance I need to have an awesome headline and a good reason why I should be on his front page.
I’m struggling for ideas. Can anyone help please?
Why have hamburgers in Hamburg when you can have Mexican at El Pikosito?
From Braveheart’s era to the present day, the kilt has been synonymous with masculinity. But isn’t it just a skirt?
From Braveheart to the hard-drinking, ginger-haired Scots who cause a boozy ruckus at weddings, the kilt has long been synonymous with a rough-and-tumble sense of masculinity.
But change the fabric from tartan to a block colour and iron out the pleats and you have yourself a fetching knee-length skirt – an article of clothing the aforementioned filmic and social warriors wouldn’t be caught dead in.
While fashion designer Marc Jacobs has pioneered the idea of the male skirt by wearing them publicly on different occasions, it’s largely considered the by-product of eccentric creativity as opposed to a valid style choice, whereas the kilt, though carrying a different historical weight, is perfectly acceptable.
But what’s the big difference? Dr Mary Tomsic, lecturer in history and popular culture at The University of Melbourne, chalks it up to a gendered society.
“Clothing is practical, but also highly symbolic, so it is a key avenue through which gender is learned and encoded. One needs only to walk into a children’s clothing shop to clearly see how different girls and boys should be dressed … I see this as being restrictive for both boys and girls,” she said.
“There are a range of factors at play in determining the gender of clothing and these change over time in response to a range of factors: political movements like feminism and women’s liberation, cultural movements like glam rock, social and political needs like women wearing pants and work clothes during WWII, and commercial interests like companies identifying men as consumers, as per the metrosexual movement.”
Indeed, there have been moments in history when we’ve seen a blurring of gender lines. As Tomsic suggests, glam rock pioneers such as David Bowie and his spandex and makeup wearing cohorts showed men of the ’70s that sexual and gender ambiguity wasn’t to be feared but celebrated. But while the lavish stage costumes went on to influence such bands as Kiss, Culture Club and Mötley Crüe, it didn’t result in a broader knock-on effect because everyday consumers were still reluctant to buy clothes they saw as feminine.
“I think escaping the gender order is very difficult and strict gender codes can be restrictive for people in terms of expressing their sense of self … It shouldn’t matter at all – but it does – which tells us something about how society reads, understands and values women and men,” Tomsic said.
“I would like there to be less interest in coding clothes as belonging exclusively to either women or men. I can’t really see any benefits of coding clothes and fashion within a strict gendered regime.”
Though there is evidence that the tide is turning. Once considered a fringe item, male pantyhose – or mantyhose – have infiltrated the broader public sphere and now make up a small, yet noticeable, percentage of stocking sales. Executives from upscale Italian hosiery company Emilio Cavallini told The New York Times that since introducing a unisex line in 2009 they have seen sales steadily increase to a point where male customers are now an appreciable portion of their overall business.
It’s a trend that’s only going to gain steam as it becomes more accepted by the mainstream, says Chan Kraemer of mantyhose marketing website e-Mancipate.
“Fashion is always about exploring, about pushing the limits. That’s the natural way and critics are welcome,” he said.
“We are close to reaching the critical mass. And why not? Mantyhose are functional, they are basically unisex, simple to wear … they can replace socks, give different levels of warmth. I like that I can use the same trousers from fall to spring, only changing the thickness of the hosiery worn under. I mean it can greatly simplify the dressing process, which is very practical – and men do like practical things.”
Pantyhose weren’t always considered the sole domain of women. From the Middle Ages up until the 17th century, male hosiery was not only accepted but a common part of a man’s wardrobe. Even today, some segments of the male population continue to wear them, including athletes and those prone to poor circulation or varicose veins.
Though tights are more popular in Europe where they are generally thicker and feature designs considered more masculine such as skulls and checks, it’s difficult to imagine them taking off in Australia on account of our temperate climate and blokey culture. But that could all change according to Dr Tomsic, who says that shifts can occur with the right pioneers.
“Footballers have been wearing running tights for a while now … As we start seeing men, and in the case of AFL footballers, men who are understood as the bastions of masculinity wearing them, they become acceptable, and hence can possibly shift to other realms,” she said.
“When high-profile manly men wear such items they can have a significant influence with other men … For instance David Beckham in his sarong and nail polish had significant impact on trends, and what is then acceptable for more mainstream men to wear.”
While it remains to be seen if stockings will one day be viewed as completely genderless, there are signs that boundaries are slowly breaking down and marketers are starting to respond. Chan also likes to remind critics of one proudly masculine proponent of items traditionally associated with women.
“Hey guys, even Superman wears mantyhose,” he said.
What an honour to see Lee Thompson, the saxophonist from Madness, in his St George Cross kilt at the Olympic closing ceremony last night. Looks like the Englishness may have been an issue though as a couple of small Union Flags had been stitched onto the front. Wish we’d had the opportunity to provide him with a Union Flag kilt instead. Hopefully the George Cross one will be returned to its full glory for future gigs.
Check out this video at 9’20”
This is some of the most amazing fabric we have ever seen: a prince of wales check covered with complex gold, silver, and black embroidery. Some kind of weird organic clockwork feel. It looks good on the roll but it looks amazing as a kilt. With brass buttons and buckles this really is a past future classic! Click here to buy one!
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As a Scottish Muslim, I am deeply involved in the dynamics of community and the exploration of values of national and ethnic pride. Current discussion of independence and the future referendum is bringing a new focus to what it means to be a Scot, and Muslim communities in Scotland are particularly sensitive to the complexities of culture, race and religion that are perceived as an integral part of Scottishness. Generations who have known no other home than Scotland now have a primary allegiance to this country rather than the nations where their parents or grandparents may have been born.
Therefore the idea of a Scottish Islamic Tartan seemed to me to be the perfect symbol of the future generation in particular, for the younger, educated Muslims caught between two cultures — East and West, traditional and modern. Instead of conflict, the tartan represents a tightly woven blend of tradition and heritage. By bringing together the strands of two cultures, a symbol is created of something more meaningful than assimilation or accommodation. The tartan represents the new fabric of society, where Muslim Scots with a sense of history and a commitment to the future of Scotland have become an integral part of the New Scotland.
With the design and introduction of a Muslim tartan, I hope to interest, challenge and provoke discussion among people who have Scotland’s interests at heart. The exclusion of Muslim communities has never been in the country’s interest and Scotland’s future, whether devolved or independent, depends on every Scot playing a part in creating a peaceful and successful homeland. What more fitting symbol of this aspiration than an Islamic Tartan?
Q: Why Do We Wear Pants? A: Horses
JUL 11 2012, 2:22 PM ET 61
The surprisingly deep history of trouser technology.
Whence came pants? I’m wearing pants right now. There’s a better than 50 percent chance that you, too, are wearing pants. And neither of us have probably asked ourselves a simple question: Why?
It turns out the answer is inexplicably bound up with the Roman Empire, the unification of China, gender studies, and the rather uncomfortable positioning of man atop horse, at least according to University of Connecticut evolutionary biologist Peter Turchin.
“Historically there is a very strong correlation between horse-riding and pants,” Turchin wrote in a blog post this week. “In Japan, for example, the traditional dress is kimono, but the warrior class (samurai) wore baggy pants (sometimes characterized as a divided skirt), hakama. Before the introduction of horses by Europeans (actually, re-introduction – horses were native to North America, but were hunted to extinction when humans first arrived there), civilized Amerindians wore kilts.”
The reasons why pants are advantageous when mounted atop a horse should be obvious, nonetheless, many cultures struggled to adapt, even when their very existences were threatened by superior, trouser-clad horseback riders.
Turchin details how the Romans eventually adopted braccae (known to you now as breeches) and documents the troubles a 3rd-century BC Chinese statesman, King Wuling, had getting his warriors to switch to pants from the traditional robes. “It is not that I have any doubt concerning the dress of the Hu,” Wuling told an advisor. “I am afraid that everybody will laugh at me.” Eventually, a different state, the Qin, conquered and unified China. They just so happened to be closest to the mounted barbarians and thus were early to the whole cavalry-and-pants thing.
Turchin speculates that because mounted warriors were generally men of relatively high status, the culture of pants could spread easily throughout male society.
I’d add one more example from history: the rise of the rational dress movement in conjunction with the widespread availability of the bicycle. Here’s a University of Virginia gloss:
The advent and the ensuing popularity of the safety bicycle, with its appeal to both sexes mandated that women cast off their corsets and figure out some way around their long, billowy skirts. The answer to the skirt question was to be found in the form of bloomers, which were little more than very baggy trousers, cinched at the knee. Bloomers provoked wrath in conservatives and delight in women cyclists, and the garment was to become the centerpiece of the “rational dress” movement that sprung up at the end of the 19th century.
What all these examples suggest is that technological systems — cavalry, bicycling — sometimes require massive alterations in a society’s culture before they can truly become functional. And once it’s locked in, the cultural solution (pants) to an era’s big problem can be more durable than the activity (horse-mounted combat) that prompted it.
We were commissioned to create this Mexican kilt by a client who runs a Mexican restaurant. The complex Mexico crest was always going to be a challenge. According to Wikipedia:
The current coat of arms of Mexico has been an important symbol of Mexican politics and culture for centuries. The coat of arms depicts a Mexican Golden Eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus devouring a snake. To the people of Tenochtitlan this would have strong religious connotations, but to the Europeans, it would come to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. The national coat of arms is also used in the Seal of the United Mexican States, a modified official version used by the federal, state and municipal governments.
In the end we decided to use fabric paints. Many thanks to friend and fabric designer Anna for her fabulous brushwork. It was a lot of work but I think you’ll agree that it was worth it.
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If you’ve walked along Shoreditch High Street recently you’ve probably been drawn into the cornucopia of fabulous delights that is Present. The FT’s ‘How to spend it‘ raves about them and says they stock “Brilliantly edited modern menswear that pushes fashion boundaries without going over the top”.
I was wowed as I browsed through for the first time last winter. It turns out that Eddie (the co-owner of Present and co-founder of the famous Duffer of St George) was equally wowed by the Union Flag kilt I was wearing.
The upshot of this chance meeting (don’t we always meet more people when we wear a kilt?) is that we have been given the honour of being featured in their jubilee punk themed window. Thanks guys!
Here is a great video from our friends at Wild Biscuit.
MOVE is a live show from Wild Biscuit, fusing Scots piping with hip hop B-Boy, funk & jazz. Like their facebook page here
The band are all wearing black biker Skilts with featuring reflective piping stitched into every pleat:
One of the more surprising trends to emerge from the Men’s Spring-Summer 2012 runway shows that just ended in Paris: skirts. Long, short, narrow, baggy, pleated, fringed — they came in all shapes and styles. Most seemed like a provocation or statement. Riccardo Tisci’s boxy skirts at Givenchy were printed with vaguely vaginal close-ups of bird-of-paradise flowers that made one think of Georgia O’Keeffe. Rei Kawakubo’s calf-length dresses at Comme des Garcons were a shocking Pepto-Bismol pink. Rick Owens’ hobble skirts were dour and monk-like — and looked like they would be very difficult to walk in.
Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto’s versions, however, were so appealing they could actually pose a threat to slacks’ dominance in menswear. The diverse cast of models — from beefy, bearded blokes to fresh-faced youth to small, wise-looking elders — looked supremely confident and comfortable in their baggy, samurai skirts and wide, pleated culottes that looked like skirts.
Check out our new 100% tapestry kilts. We got a couple of rolls of this fabric at a very special price so we can sell these to you for just £195 each. Visit our shop.
We like the leopard kilt teamed up with a plain black jacket to bring out the spots:
We call the next one our ‘Abstract Plants kilt‘ … like gardening on acid. We think it’s got a bit of an art deco / dandy look to it so we’ve teamed it here with a velvet smoking jacket: