Beyoncé and Dolly Parton lead Western fashion trend on TikTok – South China Morning Post

Beyoncé and Dolly Parton lead Western fashion trend on TikTok – South China Morning Post

In January, Pharrell Williams, the singer-turned men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton, transformed the brand’s Paris Men’s Fashion Week runway into a giant pop-up box reminiscent of a barren desert.

Pharrell Williams walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-25 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024. Photo: Corbis via Getty Images

Models strutted in cowboy hats, shearlings, accessories made in collaboration with Native American artists, Timberland boots and other nods to the Western aesthetic that Williams called “workwear.”

On another continent, in March, famous Indian fashion designer Rajesh Pratap Singh presented his polo-inspired collection in collaboration with Argentinian brand La Martina at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse.

Referencing his upbringing in Jaipur, the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, in the 1980s, surrounded by “fashion with a nod to the Western look,” Singh offered an Indian take on the cowboy aesthetic Argentinian, which manifested itself in a sprinkling of indigenous prints. on cowboy breeches and shirts, plaid and long coats, hats and riding boots.

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Looking for the beginnings of the cowboy trend – a look punctuated by fringe, denim, embroidery and more – would be like looking for a needle in a haystack the size of Texas.

However, Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology), in New York, sheds some light on the trend which explains its resonance today.

“Everyone knows that Americans did not invent blue jeans, a staple of the cowboy trend,” she says. Indigo-dyed twill fabric was “filtered by Americans from Europe, southern slaves importing technologies from Asia to India to Western Europe.”

Model Bella Hadid (right) wears a cowboy hat during the American Performance Horseman of Teton Ridge at Globe Life Field on March 8, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Getty Images for Teton Ridge

According to Mears, the early adoption of mass production in the United States allowed brands to sell these clothes to workers across the country, and businessman Levi Strauss in particular called it a very Western version work clothes.

Mears also explains the “patchwork” aesthetic of the cowboy look.

“Elements like the fringes come from the indigenous peoples of [US] East Coast. The suede fringed jackets that Native Americans wore, combined with embroidered elements from Latin America and Eastern Europe, combined with the silhouettes that were often traditional work jackets from the men’s tailoring tradition, the whole [became] merged,” she said.

A model walks the runway for designer Rajesh Pratap Singh during Lakme Fashion Week on March 13, 2024 in Mumbai, India. Photo: Getty Images

Cowboy style evolved from “work wear” to glitzy country music garb thanks to early singers who worked on ranches during the day and performed in bars at night.

Now we’re seeing the look undergo another evolution.

Behind the vanilla mid-calf Paloma boots worn by Beyoncé on the cover of her new album, Milan-based Paris Texas is a fashion brand that owes its name to the chic sensuality of the French city and the audacity of the American state.

Its creative director, Annamaria Brivio, says the fascination with Western style evolves in cycles and is now growing thanks to “people seeking versatile pieces that evoke tradition, trans-seasonality and individuality.”

According to Brivio, this is precisely what Western clothing offers.

A pair of Paris Texas cowboy boots. Photo: Paris-Texas

Paris Texas styles include classics like the cowboy boot and riding boot, “but it’s part of our DNA to reinterpret classic designs with a ‘Paris’ twist,” says Brivio.

“We use prints, special materials and small details such as buckles on more feminine styles like the neckline, flowers on western boots and printed calf hair on stiletto boots.”

The boot seen on Beyoncé, worn by Shiona Turini, features a pointed toe, stiletto heel and Texas-style panels for added style.

Paris Texas has become the go-to brand for fashion-forward cowboy boots, according to Libby Page, market director at online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, alongside American brand Khaite, particularly for its Dallas boots .

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Over the past six months, according to Net-a-Porter, sales of Western clothing have increased by 101 and 41 percent in the EU and US markets, respectively, and as the trend grows , it acquired new characteristics.

For starters, the body is more exposed, Mears says, adding that the rise of “overtly feminine elements” is something a traditional country music singer would probably avoid.

“We saw this [new trend] with Beyoncé and Lana Del Rey of course, but also [with] one of America’s most beloved cultural figures, Dolly Parton, really brought that to the fore in this highly controversial performance she just gave [at the NFL game between the Washington Commanders and Dallas Cowboys].”

Parton, now 78, was seen in a cheerleading-inspired cowboy outfit featuring an abbreviated bikini crop top, denim shorts that stopped before mid-thigh and dazzling stars a short denim jacket.

Dolly Parton performs during the NFL game between the Washington Commanders and the Dallas Cowboys on November 23, 2023. Photo: @BradyMalloryTV/Twitter

“Dolly Parton’s ability to transcend almost any group – beloved by feminists, country music fans, people of all ages – has led to a feminization of the trend with greater body exposure, a freedom that never existed not in the traditional trend before,” Mears says.

On social networks, another trend is emerging. Searches for the “Coastal Cowgirl” aesthetic on TikTok have skyrocketed, something that is described by Instyle magazine as “beach rib on top and rugged cowgirl from the knee down.” The trend is for nautical prints and patterns, feminine details like ruffles and ribbons, and sturdy boots for contrast.

Beauty isn’t far behind either, with “Cowboy Copper Hair” seeing a surge in monthly searches on TikTok and other social media platforms, a relatively high volume compared to other hair color trends. hair, according to Yarden Horwitz, co-founder of consumer trends research firm Spate.

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How can a century-old trend capture the imagination of all ages and stand the test of time? Perhaps its tight lasso hold is due to the fact that it has been, since its inception, a disparate global phenomenon.

In the digital age, its appeal to pop culture, beauty, fashion, luxury and travel means it will remain in the collective consciousness for many years to come.

In the meantime, we have celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenners and Bella Hadid (and new equestrian boyfriends) to thank.

And of course Beyoncé. As she sings in “Levii’s Jeans”: “Denim on denim on denim on denim / Give yourself high fashion in a simple white t-shirt / Give yourself those blues, it’s in my genes.” »


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