Tartan and tweed trend hits high street fashion

Tartan and tweed will make the fashion running this autumn, as store groups opt for a classic Scottish theme.

The prim and proper look, recalling styles popular in the 1930s and 1940s, is heading for the high street, following inspiring designer catwalk shows earlier this year. Tartan featured prominently in Louis Vuitton's collection, for instance.

Now retailers including Top Shop, George at Asda and Hobbs, are all drawing on the era of Brief Encounter and big bands for their new autumn/winter collections.

Hobbs creative director Karl Henry - influenced by 1930s Edinburgh - said that a Scottish theme was chosen because 'tweed and tartan are very well accepted by consumers'.

His autumn/winter collection, unveiled last week, included traditional brogues, tartan and polka dot silk blouses, with pleat skirts in patterned tweeds. Karl said he was inspired by the book The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

The 1940s has also inspired Top Shop's autumn/winter collection. 'There will be a lot of heavy tweed, layered with finer tweed. Colours will be traditional, such as browns, greys and blue. We've got some belted trench coats in Princess of Wales check, green and grey,' said a spokeswoman.

At George at Asda's autumn/winter preview last week, tartan was a resounding theme. The value retailer has drawn on looks created by the legendary Coco Chanel as inspiration for its tweed jackets, and features high-waisted skirts and trousers in the collection.

A spokeswoman from young fashion retailer New Look said: 'We see tweed as being the key fabric of the season, with plaids, tartan and all things Scottish also playing a key part.'

- Leader: page 11.