Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Original Carhartt workwear (image from
Unlike Carla Bruni, I do think Feminism is important and would happily declare myself to be one of those oft scoffed at Feminists. Some might say that you can't be a "proper" Feminist if you love fashion.  That's rubbish. There is definitely something to be said, however, for clothes and accessories which don't hold us back; the impossible to walk in heels, for example, or the so-tight- you- can't-walk pencil skirt are quite frankly a waste of time. Sometimes then, a natural place to look for stylish yet- dare I say it- practical inspiration is menswear. There are innumerable examples of womenswear designers learning from men's tailoring for their shapes. Stella McCartney, who last night won Designer of the Year and Designer Brand of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, and Lee McQueen both trained on Savile Row.

Menswear isn't just about tailoring though. Workwear is an equally iconic part of the equation which has its roots in the labels which made super-durable overalls, jackets and trousers for American workers as far back as the mid-19th century. It was the likes of Levi and Strauss and Carhartt who clothed the troops which built the infrastructure which grew America, the builders of railways, lumberjacks and factory workers.

The gorgeous and mega talented Joseph Altuzarra looked to this culture via Virginia Woolf's novel Orlando for his SS13, an exploration which resulted in a girl/ boy dichotomy of tough fabrics, pinstripes, scalloped sequins and golden fringing. There were cape coats, skirts and bootcut trousers with "railroad stripes like the OshKosh overalls you wore as a kid" and in "a brown the exact same shade of clay that Carhartt uses". La pièce de résistance was the label which Altuzarra had created to mimic a Carhartt or Levis tag, complete with "Lot SS13". A future collectible for sure.

Miuccia Prada also took to transforming workwear at Miu Miu, using hard wearing denim and lining it with the most sumptuous silk and cutting it into slightly skewed ladylike staples like duster coats and modest midi skirts. Add a ridiculously decadent fur stole or eff off massive gem and the outfits almost seem to tell a tale of a Levis wearer going from miner to millionaire, living the American dream.

At the Miu Miu press day... frayed denim sits with bling
This is not just a catwalk thing. Rihanna, Queen of setting a trend, has taken a fancy to a Carhartt overall jacket which she's worn twice in the past couple of weeks- for a celeb that's a major fashion love affair. RiRi also too a shine to the bomber jacket from Carhartt's ongoing collaboration with APC- a coat which I spied on no less than 3 people as I walked down Oxford Street this afternoon, I kid you not. I bet RiRi will be all over the OshKosh dungarees before too long. Sadly they're now only made in children's sizes but there are the occassional pair to be found in vintage rummages. Check out the OshKosh and Carhartt selections on Rokit's website. Let the Workwear revival commence!

OshKosh jacket very similar to Rihanna's £95

Rihanna in Carhartt x APC (Image via


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