From the archive: The Tartan Vogue

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The Scotsman, 3 July 1950

A SCOT recently in Paris reported with surprise that a third of the women were either wearing tartan or had tartan-covered handbags and accessories. Yet I am reminded by that learned connoisseur of the kilt, Mr Telfer Dunbar, that a visitor in Europe would have seen plenty of tartan in Paris 130 years ago. The Scottish troops in Paris after Waterloo set a fashion for all, and la nouvelle mode for the ladies must have stimulated weaving in Scotland or imitation elsewhere. Whenever Scots start arguing, there are two historical topics which fill the columns or the air. One is 1745 and All That. The other is the origin of tartan. Furthermore, there is a type of Scot, let us call him Peevish McKnocker of Glen Debunker, who is always ready to inform you that everything visible by tourists in Scotland is phoney, bogus and a racket. Highland Games and Highland tartans are especial targets of his contempt.

• archive.scotsman.com