Horses are cool. Of course, we always echo this sentiment, but this time we mean it in an entirely objective sense. Though the fashion industry can have a fairly short attention span, over the last few seasons it has taken a particular interest in the ponies, with many of the most sought-after designers dedicating expansive bandwidth to the equine form. At a glance, this may not seem so revolutionary (yes, we’ve heard of Gucci and Ralph Lauren), but current styles differ from those of the past. With less of an emphasis on the opulent tradition inherent in the rider’s kit (like horse-bit loafers and woolen blazers with double vents), this season’s sartorial focus is on the structure and movement of the horse itself (with a bit of the wild west thrown in for good measure).
In stark contrast to the rapid ebb and flow of mainstream fashion, the equestrian apparel industry remained relatively stagnant for several decades (a fact to which any English rider will attest!), but in recent years it has more than made up for lost time. In a long overdue flurry of innovation and style, clever designers have developed functional and technical gear*, as well as a genre of stable-to-street clothing intended to take the savvy equestrian “from the barn to the bar.” We love to wear our hearts [read: horses] on our sleeves, but this interpretation may be a bit too literal for us. Though we’ve certainly tossed on a pair of breeches and heels and hit the town, have we ever leapt off a steed and directly into a pair of stilettos? Not that we can remember.
If that’s your jam, more power to you! We love supporting the equestrian ateliers, but if you’re feeling a bit more premeditated about your stable-to-street vibe, we’ve put together a collection of equine focused ready-to-wear options that you’re less likely to spot ringside at the winter circuits (and we may have included a little nod to our inner cowgirls, as well).
*Slow clap for show coats in flexible, breathable fabrics!