You can see a strong military influence throughout the whole of the fashion industry. This season’s jackets have a strong 18th century British and French theme – a strong shoulder decorated with epaulettes, brass buttons and rope trims. To bring the jackets into the modern era there are usually a few add-ons such as bows or crystals. Many military uniform staples have become cornerstones of modern-day fashion but were actually borne out of more practical requirements. The trendy trench coat, for instance, dates back to 1853 when it was thought that officers fighting in the Crimean War needed long practical jackets to protect them from the elements. In fact Burberry submitted a design to the War Office in 1901 for an officer’s raincoat. They made it using their own patented cotton fabric featuring large lapels and epaulettes. Khakis were introduced in the 1840s by Harry Lumsden. Until then the British Military wore bright outfits. Lumsden was the commanding officer of the Bengal Irregular Cavalry. He stated that “a tight scarlet tunic with a high stock was not the most suitable garment in which to wage war in the plains of the Punjab in the hot weather.” He decided to give all his men coarse cotton smocks dyed with mazari which was a local dull brown plant. The leather items were dyed with mulberry juice and the two colours together became known as khaki, from the Persian word ‘khak’ which means earth or dust. Bomber Jackets were introduced during the First World War when most airplanes had open cockpits. The US Army established the Aviation Clothing Board in September 1917 and developed a heavy duty leather flight jacket which had high collars with snug cuffs. In 1931 standard issue A2 Bomber Jackets made from seal skin leather and a cotton lining were issued. It soon became impractical to supply seal skin so the jackets were instead made from horsehide. These days bomber jackets are further embellished with add-ons such as military badges and patches. View our range of military badges here. Military tunics are a huge staple this season and can be purchased from a variety of high street stores such as Zara, TopShop, ASOS, Mango and many more. Most of these jackets feature brass buttons and a structured collar. Many are often decorated with epaulettes or gold braid to create intricate detailing. The Drummer’s tunic, worn in the Bands of the Infantry Regiment is an iconic item famously decorated with Fleur De Lis lace which can be purchased here. Military trends are becoming an increasing part of everyday fashion, and are even combined with basics such as jeans and t-shirts. Many would argue that the flamboyant design aesthetic of Napoleon Bonaparte in the 19th century is widely regarded as a cultural turning point.
Ligne, or line, is a unit of measurement that was used for centuries prior to the adoption of metric system, to define the diameter of buttons, watch movements and in the manufacture of ribbon. Even in the modern world button sizes are still often defined by their ligne size with 1 ligne approximately equal to 1/40th of an inch. Some confusion still remains, however, as some countries calculate ligne measurements in different ways, for example in France, 1 inch is equal to 11 ligne. The accepted way to calculate the ligne of a button is to divide the button diameter in millimetres by 0.635. To keep things simple, we put together this simple chart to convert button sizes from ligne to mm, and vice versa.
While traditionally specialising in ceremonial regalia, it is Wyedean’s versatility and adaptability that has seen it branch out and succeed in other fields, reaching as far out as Hollywood. Superstar Tom Cruise wore Wyedean’s custom-made sashes in the film The Last Samurai. In fact Wyedean’s accessories have been worn by many other top Hollywood actors as film companies regularly request Wyedean's with unique wardrobe requirements. John Cleese wears Wyedean-produced items in the first two Harry Potter films where he plays Nearly Headless Nick. Brad Pitt is also seen wearing items from Wyedean in Fury. Wyedean was called upon to provide many hundreds of metres of bandages for The Mummy and it created the sashes, epaulettes and cords used on the uniforms in Gulliver’s Travels. Other films Wyedean items can be found in include Master and Commander, Saving Private Ryan, The Man in the Iron Mask, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Band of Brothers, The Four Feathers, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.