Now Trending: The Fringe Element

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Last week, we kicked off our S/S 2014 Trending series with the first of ten key fashion trends for the season to come: Candy Colors. Today, we’ll revisit a comeback kid and a counterculture favorite, returning to runways in force.



Here in North America, fringed clothing embellishments can be traced to the Native American tribes of the plains. Originally functional, the leather or buckskin trim served to channel rainwater away from the body. It evolved into a more elaborate symbol of status over time.

Fringe later emerged as a decorative fashion embellishment in the 1920’s. As jazz-loving flappers sinfully gyrated to the Charleston, they flaunted tiers of silk fringe layered on shift dresses. The trend continued into the 1930’s, before going relatively quiet until a strong resurgence some three decades later.



Fringe again returned, not just for the hippie society of the late 1960’s, but in daring fabrics such as vinyl plastics, iridescent synthetics, and metallics. Elvis adopted his signature uniform, wearing long strips of fringe on his stage costumes. Biker tough guys rocked the look as well, as seen in the landmark 1969 film, Easy Rider. News traveled fast to Europe, with icons like Ringo Starr and Twiggy (pictured above) sporting their takes on fringe in hot spots on Carnaby Street.

Touching on the trend in the 1980’s were risk-taking designers such as Stephen Sprouse, Claude Montana, and Christian Lacroix. In the 1990’s, couture houses repurposed fringe via head-to-toe embroidery and crystals.



Fast-forward to 2013. Dallasites watched (some in horror) as our city was turned into a hayride for elite Chanel shoppers at the rodeo-esque Métiers d’Art Show. Fringe was in full force (pictured above), with some looks evoking Native American origins, others the 1920’s, and beyond. Below, we’ll take a look at this ever-evolving, always returning element in its current designer iterations. Plus, we’ll highlight two hot buy-it-now finds.


Fringe On The Runway




3.1 Phillip Lim


































Emilio Pucci

















Jil Sander

































Shop The Trend




Free People, Perimeter Cardigan ($30)

















Anthropologie, Fringed Suede Jacket ($428)
















Twiggy image via All additional images via individual designers and retailers.



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