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  1. #1
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    Kilt appearance on "MacGyver" (by Henry Ian Cusick)

    I don't normally watch this show but it happened to be on my telly this evening, and I perked up when I saw one of the characters in a kilt. Actor Henry Ian Cusick actually did a better-than-usual (for Hollywood) job of representing the kilt. The context appeared to be a guest at a wedding, with both daytime and evening activities.

    His entire outfit seemed generally appropriate for the affair, if a tad on the boring side. While it seemed highly influenced by hire company fashion and modern trends, it didn't grossly violate tradition as is often done for television. He was wearing a black Argyll jacket with silver buttons and matching waistcoat, black necktie (four-in-hand knot, it appeared), plain white shirt with standard collar, hunting sporran with bright metal cantle, black hose with flashes, and ghillie brogues. The kilt seemed to be a grey-and-black sort of fashion tartan (one of those granite tartans or some such). I was pleased to see him wearing it at the tops of his knees, which is rare in the media these days.

    Apparently he was masquerading as someone named MacTavish, so I would have thought he should wear an actual clan tartan with some colour to it. Nothing makes the iconic kilt more boring than a monochrome outfit. But still, at least we didn't see him wearing a PC with a wing collar, fly plaid, white hose, or other silliness. Honestly, the only things I think he could have improved would be switching to a traditional clan tartan kilt and ditching the ubiquitous sword kilt pin, coloured hose with garter ties, and standard brogues. As for the rest, I say well done. I'm guessing his Scottish background played a large part in how he chose to wear it, rather than letting the costume people muck it up like they usually do.


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  3. #2
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    Yes it looks like standard-issue Pipe Band meets standard-issue Kilt Hire.

    The black Argyll, black hose, ghillies, and black Hunting sporran with chrome top are all near-universal Pipe Band things.

    That no-colour outfit look has been popular with Kilt Hire in Scotland for a decade now. As best I can remember it started with a tartan called Grey Douglas.

    Then Grey versions several other traditional tartans appeared like Grey Watch (I'm not making that up) and Grey Stewart etc.

    Then as you say they began creating a vast number of new grey-scale Fashion Tartans with "granite" and "mist" etc in the names.

    These grey-scale tartans are often combined with charcoal grey jackets and hose to create the dullest outfits possible.

    At first glance you might think this is a black & white photo, but note the kilts on the rack behind. I just don't understand the desire to make it look like before colour photography was invented.



    For your viewing pleasure here's a selection of monochromatic outfits.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 22nd April 21 at 04:28 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  4. #3
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    Monochrome, a style that truely lacks any real substance, Scottish or otherwise.

    One of my favorite quotes from the old "Scottish Clans and Their Tartans" is "... deprive the garb of its ornaments or reduce it to the drab monotony of Anglo-Saxon evening clothes are un-Scottish and*contemptible".

    Multiple colours, the glint of shinny metal, textures of fur, hair or leather.

    These are the things that set the Highland dress apart. It's best kept that way.

    Frank
    Drink to the fame of it -- The Tartan!
    Murdoch Maclean

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  6. #4
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    Maybe monochrome has been with us for a tad longer...








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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highland Logan View Post
    Monochrome, a style that truely lacks any real substance, Scottish or otherwise.

    One of my favorite quotes from the old "Scottish Clans and Their Tartans" is "... deprive the garb of its ornaments or reduce it to the drab monotony of Anglo-Saxon evening clothes are un-Scottish and*contemptible".

    Multiple colours, the glint of shinny metal, textures of fur, hair or leather.

    These are the things that set the Highland dress apart. It's best kept that way.

    Frank
    Agreed. Although, there is a fine line between “good taste” and “brash caricatures”. It is difficult for some , particularly those new to kilt attire, to steer clear of that oh so critical and significant fine line.

    For example, many newcomers to the world of the kilt find it difficult to differentiate between pipe band attire and civilian kilt attire. Another example, is the lack of understanding that aspects of the kilt hire industry do not follow traditional kilt attire thinking.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 25th April 21 at 03:37 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomo View Post
    Maybe monochrome has been with us for a tad longer...

    That's a Hunting Stewart kilt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomo View Post


    For sure the Balmoral tartan is grey-tone, and John Brown appears to have an all-black mourning outfit.

    However we have to keep in mind that a tartan reserved for the Royal Family, and a one-off mourning outfit, are hardly indicative of Highland Dress at any period, then or now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomo View Post
    Ah now we're onto something that was quite popular in Victorian times, an entire Highland suit made up of matching tweed. They're making something of a comeback now.

    What these images also bring up is how evidently in Victorian times plain hose were nearly always grey or taupe, and tweed jackets were nearly always grey or brown.

    Add to that, I read over and over, in writings about Highland Outdoor/Day Dress from around WWI up through the 1950s the opinion that plain hose should match the tweed jacket.

    These factors working together are indeed going to create many men wearing grey jackets and hose. What there wasn't much of, until the 1990s, were all-grey tartans. There was Balmoral and the Allan Brothers' Douglas, created as a pun, evidently.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  10. #7
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    I agree that monochrome outfits are out there and have been for some time as evidenced by Tomo's post, I think it is important to remember just how much of fashion in the UK was influenced by the fact that Queen Victoria was in mourning from the death of Prince Albert in 1861 until her own death in 1901. The other thing I notice is that the MacLeay paintings are referenced again, which makes sense as they are one of the only colour examples we have. For everyone in a monochrome outfit though in the prints there is someone else who is wearing a colourful outfit, here are a few.













    Also I will add a photo here of me in my Argyll and waistcoat from 1894 which is in a wonderful tweed the colour of which we just do not see any longer



    I'm not sure how monochrome everything was or not but there is evidence for both sides.
    Last edited by McMurdo; 24th April 21 at 09:26 PM.

  11. #8
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    I once came face to face rather suddenly with an elderly gent in tartan trews and the full fig whilst walking back from delivering the offspring to school one morning, and the effect was actually shocking.

    I'm not at all prone to fits of the vapours, but I could well have attempted one at that moment.

    Anne the Pleater
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

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