Friday, February 25, 2011

Are fishermen the new cowboys?

At last Thursday's Glug creative drinks event in London (not, but that looks fun too), I was struck by Catherine Lock's passionate presentation about authentic British craft skills being taken to the grave by elderly craftspeople. One of the products she discussed was the Gansey Jumper, a highly durable, hand knitted, weatherproof sweater favoured by fishermen, often with ornate patterns woven in. They have recently been finding their way onto the catwalk for Meadham Kirchhoff at London Fashion Week. Lock showed some awesome pictures of rustic, weatherbeaten sea-dogs (see above) and it got me thinking:

When this whole cowboy/lumberjack, plaid shirt, True Grit, wild west trend ends, what will fill the void? Will we swing to a strongly opposing mindset and associated style, or will the gunslingers be replaced with another rugged hero? I think that the windswept fisherman could be a likely candidate. Perhaps with a Scandinavian twist - for a while now there's been a growing influx of Scandinavian films, TV series, Christmasy knitwear and product design. Rare Exports was one such film that had a very strong aesthetic (see below). We will have to see how this year unfolds, but certainly the purchase of high quality, physically and emotionally durable products is a step in the right direction from a sustainability perspective.


  1. I'm going to start growing a gnarly fisherman's beard right now!