Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Pilgrim's Thanksgiving


With leaves falling, the smell of cinnamon in the air and the taste of pumpkin on your tongue, you know that Thanksgiving is here. With this holiday comes images of Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving dinner in the new world.



 If you’re like me, I always imagined the Pilgrims in black and white with buckles on their hats and shoes. Turns out that black and white were only worn on Sundays and formal occasions. Women wore shades of red, green, brown, blue, violet and gray. And buckles were not actually in fashion until later in the 17th century. 




Nevertheless, I can’t help but continue to picture them across the landscape of New England in 1621 dressed in the classic black, white and buckles. This type of imagery has definitely persisted in the imaginations of designers as well. 

Pilgrim's Landing
Sarah Burton presented Pilgrim-esque designs in her Pre-Fall 2013 collection. Wide collars, belted waists and buckles are all reminiscent of the Pilgrim look. 
Her runway designs could just have easily been donned on the shores of the New World, though the heels and over-the-knee boots would have been a bit cumbersome. 
The pleats of Lady Hawkins ruff are mirrored by the neckline and hemline details on the McQueen dress, as are the delicate cut out designs. 

Other designers, including Chloe and Jean Paul Gaultier, have also found inspiration in America’s first settlers. The inspiration was reinterpreted on a scale of sexy to sweet. 
Gaultier’s hat and collared ruff are a feminized version of menswear from the period, ramped up with a touch of sex appeal thanks to the skirt's short hemline. 

The Chloe Spring 2007 collection featured classic Pilgrim elements like the collars, but with a dash of 1960s flair with mod baby doll dresses. The designs were a bit sweeter and more demure than the flash of Gaultier. 

Regardless of what the Pilgrims truly wore on that first Thanksgiving, we can embrace the true spirit of that first autumn harvest feast and say a prayer of thanks as we celebrate all that we have been given. 

Runway Photos: Vogue.com

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