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Tartan Accents Stand Out on Fashionable Men

By Patrick Michael Hughes | January 29, 2013 8:17am

MANHATTAN — Of the many highlights of Pre-Fall 2013 collections presented in great anticipation of the forthcoming New York Fashion Week in February, Street Chic has been taken with the tartan prints popping up across the lines.

Stirred by Karl Lagerfeld’s Pre-Fall 2013 Chanel collection presented last month at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, Street Chic was thrilled with the splendid tartan tailoring and plush Fair Isle drapery inspired by the Mary Queen of Scots and the Highlands.

Tartan — a distinctive checked textile linked to tradition, genealogy, political intrigue and war — can be linked to the heritage trend, a strong fashion-marketing tactic Street Chic has highlighted in the past. Familiar, classic, surprisingly neutral and modern, tartan and inspired plaid looks have hit the street in outerwear, tailored looks and handsome accessories.

One of the most impressive looks was a yellow Macleod of Lewis (yellow on large black plaid) paired with interpretations of red Royal Stewart (a red with green and navy crosshatch). Clan Campbell tartan (a symettrical blue and green plaid) was stylishly fashioned in a toggle-detailed parka by Commes des Garçons on Italian stylist Michele Vittorio in town for the fashion season.

Moncler Gamme Bleu Fall 2013 collection, designed by Thom Browne, featured icy-hued Highland knights clad in custom-developed tartans celebrating all things Scottish. The collection was a mix of tailored looks, stripes and knits. Street Chic spotted a well-tailored Black Watch (royal blue base with green) tartan sports jacket paired with subtle stripes, a cobalt blue vest and great leather accessories on writer Christopher Ohlsom in SoHo. Ryan L.F. O’Connor, a designer at American Eagle Outfitters, was also wearing a rugged Black Watch and Campbell tartan look from Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren.

Low-rise jeans printed in Menzies black and white tartan, worn with a white hoodie and a sleeveless leather biker jacket and Creepers, struck a modern and timeless look on Matthew Ambrose of Red Light PR. His modern styling of tartan astutely borrows from the traditional and claims it as street fashion. It’s in keeping with the Spring 2013 forecast for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum exhibition Punk: Chaos to Couture opening in May.

And there are always the vast number of button-down, untucked plaid shirts and jeans worn by men in throughout the city to seal the look's popularity.