From punk to prep and tastefully classic to terminally crass, plaid has always been a pattern that crosses lines.
Most closely associated with the tartans belonging to the clans of the Scottish Highlands, plaid material has actually been unearthed in the ancient tombs of Qizilchoqa in Central Asia that date back to 1500 BC. The patterns shown on our Mad for Plaid covers were collected in France in the 1800s, but they look as though they could have come from last year’s runway collection by Vivienne Westwood or Louis Vuitton! Then again, they may also have been cut from your grandpa’s pants. So goes the cheeky versatility of plaid.
The plaid pattern experienced a surge in popularity that moved it from its traditional associations into the realm of permanent fashion statement when Queen Victoria adopted tartans into her wardrobe. Her love of all things Scottish led her to use the rich blacks, reds, blues and greens of a plaid pattern in her queenly garments. The “pledd,” as it was known to the Highlanders, has always found a way to express itself, and our journals offer the chance for you to do the same.