It was Saturday morning, probiotics drink on the side and this topic of attraction of skirts over pants or anything over pants in that matter that had been playing in my head since last Fall while swiping VOGUE's Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014 online gallery photos. I have finally decided to come to terms with it. Although not a fan over this style composure completely for my entire life[tried the mini skirt of over pants for a different tunic option a period in my life--out of modest necessity mainly] but thoughts are always bound to change specially when a person can style certain pieces to one's own personal liking, Right? I can't quite jotted it down, but I think there is something about the length of a skirt/dress/tunic that gives a pair of pants that striking quality. Let's look into this point a bit further, shall we? But, first let's get one thing clear, anything over pants is propriety of ancient history--not the 90's.
We are far from the need to ride horses but our modern times have other challenges that require practicality in clothing. Fashion as some may view can be fleeing and momentarily--for some part it is!--that's what the essence of time is about. Fashion captures the current status of happenings within a society at a certain time--as you have seen above. Looking into our current times and the fast turn-around of clothing production, you would think of a population and intelligence rise, in some part true, but others would argue how irresponsible we are becoming in terms of production and waste, but that is not the current subject. The use of skirts/tunics/dresses over pants aside a good modest option can be interpreted also as a society statement depending on the meaning that is attributed to each of the clothing. One that perhaps states our equal force of being both elegant and practical and or can signify the change in roles between men and women.
It was the Tess Giberson Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear collection that caused me to give this style a second look and change of true heart. I really like the longer airy length style skirt/dress/shirt-dress over pants. So, I noted and waited to see how this ancient revamped look will flourished once again. Then was SUNO, Ellery, Chanel, Michael Kors among the likes that followed suit in either separate/built-in dress or skirt over pants.
On Friday, when I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to see a few exhibitions, I came across unexpectedly for a glance at a tunic over pants that dated to the 7th century[see image here] If you look close at the image, you will see a man dressed in a caftan over pants. This is actually the piece of evidence I need to complete this topic playing in my head. Of course pants date back even further--to the initial times of horseback riding to be precise and women wore them too! Adrianne Mayor, a research scholar in Classics, the Program in History and Philosophy of Science and Technol-ogy at Stanford University goes on to say that the Greeks were not very far off when crediting warrior women for the invention of pants/trousers. According to her research, prior to the Greeks and Romans adaptation to pants, its use was seen from the "Black Sea to the territories of the Xiongnu nomads on the west-ern border of China". The ScienceNews Magazine published on June 2014 an article that claims to have found a pair of pants dating back between 3,300 and 3,000 years; they belonged to nomadic horsemen in Central Asia. It is said that the Republican Romans didn't take up the use of pants because they were seen as a barbarian mark and viewed drape clothing as an 'emblem of civilization' of course that changed as the Roman Empire grew to colder areas. The ancient Greeks were of the same thought-- they felt their garment drapery clashed with the use of pants. Perhaps, this is where our admiration of drapery and elegance comes. But what is certain according to research, is the use of pants came out of need for both genders. The initial use of pants for women was also to give them freedom of movement while preserving modesty--interesting. Eventually as time went by, the utilitarian use of pants spread to the Western world. But, what happened between ancient times, the finally recently abolished French law that prohibited women to wear pants is far and in-between the growth of ideologies and the mankind perceptions of how to live life in a pair of pants. In the late 19th and early 20th century pants took center stage again in the life of women through the iconic design of 'Harem' pants by French clothing designer Paul Poiret. Right before his period, there was a movement of women rights activists who sought a more comfortable way of dressing and against the restraining manner of the corset and for again practical reasons opted for a skirt over pants into something called 'The Bloomer' and they looked like this.
This form of style[skirt over pants] really stood out in a different department--during New York International Bridal Fashion Week 2015. Yes, now that is audacity! New York based brand Houghton featured a bridal look that consisted of tulle over pants[see it here] Would you consider this as your wedding dress? Now, most currently, this past September during New York Fashion Week Season Spring/Summer 2015, the use of skirt over pants popped-up in streets style shoots. Fashionista.com predicts the layering look of a skirt over pants is still to reach its peak in 2015; not sure it will stay through main stream fashion the entire next year[we shall see], but skirt over pants is bound to live well in some subcultures and in other continents for many more years. Now, what I do think is not yet ready to leave are long tunic-like blouses/sweaters over pants and in some cases over long skirts. Seen throughout the Spring/Summer 2015 Collections, below are a few I favor.
What do you think of this style? Is there something else representative behind this look or just a creative way of expressing ourselves?
Parisian Women Now (Officially) Allowed To Wear Pants, NPR
Paul Poiret (1879–1944), The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Who Invented Trousers?, Academia