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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    Attachment 43500 Attachment 43501 Attachment 43502 Attachment 43503

    These will be familiar to many on this forum, and this selection of pictures proves nothing - except, perhaps, that the idea of ghillie-brogues being a modern kilt-hire industry invention is unfounded.
    To amplify your point, here are twelve instances of Ghillies being worn in Victorian times.

    In contrast to the recent notion that Ghillies are piper-specific, only one of the subjects appear to be a piper.

    Two men appear to have buckles affixed to the toes of their Ghillies. (These of course are entirely non-functional and are for decoration only.)

    They're the earliest photos I have of Ghillies being worn, save for the photographic portraits of the Allen Brothers.



    Now why do I say that the notion of Ghillies and pipers going hand-in-glove is recent? Because it is.

    Here are pipers in 1950, only two are wearing Ghillies.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 15th May 24 at 04:22 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    These will be familiar to many on this forum, and this selection of pictures proves nothing - except, perhaps, that the idea of ghillie-brogues being a modern kilt-hire industry invention is unfounded.
    Perhaps I missed it, but did anyone make such a claim?

    In case that remark was directed my way, I merely pointed out that ghillie brogues have been oversold by hire shops as the only shoe to wear with the kilt, and have become so ubiquitous that ghillie brogues are now (in my mind, anyway) part and parcel of the "hire look". There is no doubt that they have provenance at least as far back as the Highland Revival period, and I do not claim that they aren't a traditional option. But the hire shops have tarnished their image and some people avoid them because they don't want to be thought of as having been dressed by a commercial salesman.

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  4. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post

    I merely pointed out that ghillie brogues have been oversold by hire shops as the only shoe to wear with the kilt, and have become so ubiquitous that ghillie brogues are now (in my mind, anyway) part and parcel of the "hire look".
    The other aspect is that since the Hire Shops (at least in their early days, the 1980s) were hiring mostly the black Prince Charlie (or black Argyll) + white hose + black Ghillies (sans buckles) the notion got cemented into the American kiltwearing consciousness that Ghilles are the one and only Formal shoe to wear with the kilt.

    I hear all the time people talking about wanting to, or having to, get Ghillies to go with their Evening outfits.

    In Victorian times Ghillies, which as I've mentioned perhaps show up in 10% of the photos at best, aren't often seen in formal contexts.

    However by the 1920s they'd become a formal shoe option, made in patent leather, and having buckles (de rigueur for Evening Dress) while never seeming to become as popular as the more traditional buckle brogue.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  5. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    To amplify your point, here are twelve instances of Ghillies being worn in Victorian times.

    They're the earliest photos I have of Ghillies being worn, save for the photographic portraits of the Allen Brothers.
    They all look to be 1870-90. Slightly earlier is the one of Waller Hugh Paton, Artist by David Octavius Hill c.1860.

    Waller Hugh Paton, Artist by David Octavius Hill c1860.jpg

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  7. #85
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    Thanks for that photo, I've not seen Ghillies like that.

    Sadly the various Allen Brothers photos don't show the shoes clearly, just enough to tell they're some sort of Ghillies.

    BTW I'm reading over the interesting correspondence between Sir Thomas Dick Lauder and Sir Walter Scott which Dunbar quotes at length, and another example of the Allen Brothers' opportunism jumped out at me:

    (Sir Thomas writes)

    "A curious corroboration of the accuracy of the manuscript, if corroboration had been wanting, occurred in the case of Lovat. Talking of his tartan he told the Messrs Hay that although the tartan he then wore was that which was always worn by the Clan Fraser as their Clan Tartan yet some old people of the name maintained that there should be a white sprainge through it. The Messrs Hay on consulting the manuscript found the tartan (therein) to be exactly as worn by Lovat with the addition of the white sprainge..."

    How convenient! Another example of them quickly creating a tartan to fit with tidbits of information they came across.

    Of course this incident must have preceded the Messrs Hay allowing Sir Thomas to make his copy; otherwise Fraser and MacLean both would have exposed the Allen's opportunism.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  8. #86
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    Screenshot (144) 2.png

    I thought I would add this to the mix...

    A cropped still from a mid-'60s film showing a piper in action at a Games in Scotland.

    The low level winding of the red laces, and side tied bow are worth noting. A style worth reviving, do you think..?

  9. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post

    The low level winding of the red laces, and side tied bow are worth noting. A style worth reviving, do you think..?
    Trog, that's about how I wear mine. Maybe a tad higher (a cm or two at most), but basically tied just above the ankle-bone at '10 and 2' like that. (I included a detailed description of my method of tying earlier in this thread.)
    John

  10. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Thanks for that photo, I've not seen Ghillies like that.

    Sadly the various Allen Brothers photos don't show the shoes clearly, just enough to tell they're some sort of Ghillies.

    BTW I'm reading over the interesting correspondence between Sir Thomas Dick Lauder and Sir Walter Scott which Dunbar quotes at length, and another example of the Allen Brothers' opportunism jumped out at me:

    (Sir Thomas writes)

    "A curious corroboration of the accuracy of the manuscript, if corroboration had been wanting, occurred in the case of Lovat. Talking of his tartan he told the Messrs Hay that although the tartan he then wore was that which was always worn by the Clan Fraser as their Clan Tartan yet some old people of the name maintained that there should be a white sprainge through it. The Messrs Hay on consulting the manuscript found the tartan (therein) to be exactly as worn by Lovat with the addition of the white sprainge..."

    How convenient! Another example of them quickly creating a tartan to fit with tidbits of information they came across.

    Of course this incident must have preceded the Messrs Hay allowing Sir Thomas to make his copy; otherwise Fraser and MacLean both would have exposed the Allen's opportunism.
    Some, possibly all, of the correspondence between the two is bound into the front of the Lauder Transcript. I have photographs of several pages but have not read them in detail. Lauder's had is quite readable, Scott's less so.

    There is an interesting comment by Lauder who in his summary of the Cromarty Ms says of the tartans that 'The descriptions are all so very particular that it is quite impossible to mistake them,.....' He goes on to say that he therefore made a copy for himself. It is self-evident that Lauder did not understand tartan or he would have realised that the descriptions are often so vague that any one of several different drawings could justifiably be argued to represent a particular entry.

    So far as Lovat's comments are concerned, it should be borne in mind that he was born (1802) at a point after Wilsons had invented and were selling their Fraser tartan and they they wove a version with a white line as Fraser of Lovat. there is no evidence for the older use of either tartan and whilst Lovat was undoubtedly wrong in his historical claim, there seems little doubt that the Allen Brothers used his statement and Wilsons' version as the inspiration for their design.

    Farser & Fraser of Lovat.jpg

  11. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by EagleJCS View Post
    Trog, that's about how I wear mine. Maybe a tad higher (a cm or two at most), but basically tied just above the ankle-bone at '10 and 2' like that. (I included a detailed description of my method of tying earlier in this thread.)
    Me, too.

    I find that a triple twist at the front puts the laces at the right height for passing around the ankle - two twists is too low, and four goes too high. Another triple twist at the back and the laces are just where I want them.

    The combination of wide open front and red laces on this piper's brogues seems almost perfect. I wonder why the ones now available seem to have closed up so much - or is it that feet were fatter back in the day?

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  13. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    Screenshot (144) 2.png

    I thought I would add this to the mix...

    A cropped still from a mid-'60s film showing a piper in action at a Games in Scotland.

    The low level winding of the red laces, and side tied bow are worth noting. A style worth reviving, do you think..?
    A style definitely worth reviving, and I submit that you and I should get to work immediately "being the change". I know red laces are available for ghillies through dance supply shops, though I've never seen matching tassels on offer. They can't possibly be too complicated, though, can they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    Yes, that certainly seems to be the way, and the question of 'Is it too matchy-matchy..? is often asked when showing an outfit.

    Wanting to 'do things right' is, of course, commendable and should be encouraged, but it suggests that there is a big risk of doing things wrong also.

    It has always been my impression that here in Scotland there is almost no awareness of doing it either way, right or wrong, but just simply doing it. Established convention and still-practised etiquette are the natural guides if ever in doubt for any kind of social situation, but the idea that wearing the kilt can be done 'wrong' in any informal setting (that is, when uniform or specified dress is required) would baffle most Scots.
    Dress, in a lot of ways, is like language. For Scots, dressing in traditional Highland attire is a native skill, and so it doesn't require a great deal of intentionality or purposeful planning. Someone who has been brought up seeing the kilt worn from infancy just knows how it should be done, the same way someone who has heard English spoken all their life doesn't give much thought to sentence structure.

    Americans, by and large, wear the kilt with an accent, as you have indirectly suggested. As a native Spanish speaker using English is extremely careful to use the exact right words in their proper form, which can cause conversation to sound stilted and awkward, an American donning the kilt later in life has "the rules" in mind, and while he can get everything technically correct, the ensemble might come off as off somehow. He has dressed in Highland attire with an accent.

    As a college student taking French classes, my professor impressed upon us that more important than diction and conjugation was the music of the language. We should strive to get the rhythm and the intonation just so, according to Professor Carton, and phrasing and pronunciation would naturally follow. So we spent hours alternately humming and whispering back the conversations we heard. It's a brilliant approach to language acquisition, and there must be a corollary in traditional dress, if we could just find it.
    Last edited by JPS; 4th June 24 at 11:27 AM.

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