{"'Liebchen, this is the other half of the earth. In Germany you would be yellow and blue.' Mirror-metaphysics." - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow}

Fashionably Late I: Spats gaiters puttees jambières Gamaschen getten…

Those who know me can testify to my love of the First World War. I can call myself the proud owner of a customized bomb shell (Canadian, 1917), a birthday present from my brother who is a collector of World Wars I & II paraphernalia. Uniforms however, are my true weakness. It probably has something to do with my upbringing but I simply cannot resist the rigidity and the often tight cut of uniforms, and of course the long lost world of childhood memories that they evoke to me (the smell of my father retuning from manoeuvres, the cast iron Saint Barbara in the officers’ mess, those rock hard yet delicious standard army issue biscuits, ….). One specific part of uniforms that fascinates me concerns leg- and footwear. Soldiers during the First World War often wore some sort of protection for their legs, be it boots, gaiters or puttees. For some very cool examples, check out this webpage. A couple of years ago I bought a pair of gaiters by Belgian designer Kaat Tilley that are clearly inspired by the army versions, yet they are also imbued with a very feminine touch.

By the way, gaiters combine very well with a Loden cape, another good candidate for my ‘Fashionably Late’ category.

I will definitely be revisiting this topic!

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