Anyone who has even cast a cursory eye towards New York Fashion Week will have received the message loud and clear that fringe is in. It’s having another moment for spring/summer 2018. In fact it’s been having a moment on catwalks for the past few years, but fringing is hottest right now.
“There’s something festive and faintly subversive about fringe”, writes Ruth La Ferla in the The New York Times, and she’s not wrong. Fringe has been worn for centuries, so it’s only to be expected that it holds sway with various facets of society.
In ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), fringe was worn by men and women on shawls and skirts, and became more decorative and elaborate as time went on. Eventually the fringing on men’s shawls became so unique to the individual that it’s said to have been imprinted into clay as a way to “sign” contracts.
Native Americans employed fringing for more practical uses on leather and buckskin garments to disperse moisture for faster drying and in place of hemming. A kind of sustainability practice, if you will; there were no offcuts (leather took a long time to prepare and couldn’t be wasted) in the preparation of hems.
The flapper fashions of the 20s saw fringing used to flattering effect, giving the appearance of length on dresses with cheeky, ever-decreasing hemlines. On the edge of the swinging 60s, fashion and beauty idol Marilyn Monroe donned a figure-hugging, plunging necklined black number dripping with fringe at the hem in Some Like it Hot, then a decade later, fringing was adopted by rebels and outcasts thanks to pop culture giving it a subversive edge – Dennis Hopper’s suede jacket in Easy Rider is often cited as among the most iconic fringe fashion statements of the time. And fringing has been perennially de rigueur for fans of Boho and Native American-inspired fashion since the 60s.
Fringing has and always will be a thing. Start at your feet and work your way up with our Bluebell sandals. They’re ethically handmade in India, using traditional techniques, made from real leather, hand-stitched with this season’s cutest cotton fringing and perfect for coastal cruising or festival fun. So show your feet some love and pair them with your favourite denim – the fashion gods have also decreed the indigo staple is also back in a big way!