Olivia Rodrigo and the enduring power of the tartan skirt suit

Olivia Rodrigo and the enduring power of the tartan skirt suit
The style is chic and timeless, says Prudence Wade.

Pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo has taken a break from filming music videos and writing break-up songs to visit the White House.

The 18-year-old met with US President 乔拜登 and infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci and is encouraging young people to get vaccinated.

罗德里戈 wrote on Instagram she “had the absolute honor of visiting the White House today and chatting with @potus about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you are young and not immunocompromised, getting your Covid vaccination is the best thing you can do for your health and your loved ones’ health. YOU have the power to save lives”.

Olivia Rodrigo at the White House

Rodrigo dressed for the occasion, wearing a cute but business-like pink vintage Chanel skirt suit, paired with white platform shoes and a tiny black handbag. It’s safe to say her fans were besotted with the outfit…

There’s something about a plaid skirt suit: it’s never gone out of style, and was just as fashionable in the Mary Quant miniskirt-obsessed 1960s as it is today. We’d also argue it suits everyone – regardless of age or body type.

Rodrigo is following in some stylish footsteps with her Chanel outfit, because plaid skirt suits have served some seriously iconic fashion moments over the years.

Where else could we start but the 1995 film Clueless? Cher’s yellow skirt suit is instantly recognisable and still being copied today – most recently by supermodel Cara Delevingne.

The cult 1989 black comedy Heathers made a bold fashion statement with short tartan skirts and matching blazers – complete with classic Eighties big shoulders. And yes, people are still thinking about it today – in 2020, one of the competitors on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Gigi Goode, based her runway look on the movie.

The list of women choosing to wear this style goes on: Fran Fine in The Nanny, Hilary Banks in The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, on Alexander McQueen’s Givenchy catwalk, in basically every Chanel show – to today, and the off-duty looks of Bella Hadid and Irina Shayk.

There’s even a growing trend for men wearing similar styles, tapping into the increased gender fluidity of fashion – just take the school uniform-inspired looks at Thom Browne.

所以, why can’t we get enough of tartan? Possibly because it has such a storied history, having long been used in Scotland to signify your clan. It’s seen various revamps over the years, from associations with demure Catholic schoolgirls, to more of a punk sensibility thanks to Vivienne Westwood.

无论哪种方式, Rodrigo shows plaid skirt suits are here to stay – and that’s something we’re glad of.


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