The journey of the humble Wellington Boot

The Wellington boot is something which we closely relate to country living and recent festival wear, without taking close notice to its origins. The Wellington boot, or more commonly known as a ‘Wellie’, was originally a military style boot designed by the Duke of Wellington to protect the feet of his soldiers. According to McDowell‘a soldier in shoes is only a solider , but in boots he becomes a warrior’(1989 p.135). The boot was specially designed to be slimly cut as to not disturb the line of a gentleman’s trouser, but also in leather which was at the time the most durable and long-lasting fabric for a working man. It is therefore interesting to explore the change from an item which was only worn purely for utility purposes, into somewhat of a fashion icon which has been noticed at Paris fashion week a number of days ago.

A fascinating article published by Junkee (2015) described the controversial nature of wearing garments which have been inspired by military uniform. The article truly opens the debate of whether these designs are merely a form of expression giving people the power of displaying their view visually. Or in fact is it disrespectful to imitate the uniforms of the forces? This is an idea which passes many people by, however it is something which we must discuss in order to paint the correct picture of our society and beliefs. For example Kanye West’s most recent collection featured models walking onto the run way in formation which could be argued that this is a political statement, or taking an idea too far which sub sequentially offends others. Which ever way you conclude the argument, it is necessary to understand how these high fashion design houses will eventually effect the picture of society as elements of these designs are likely to be available to the mass market and not just to the elite.

Mattias McGregor (2015) Is Adopting Military Wear In Fashion Disrespectful, Or Legitimate Cultural Expression? 09/10/2015

Kanye shows his controversial military fashion in New York (2015) 09/10/2015

McDowell.C (1989) Shoes fashion and fantasy Thames and Hudson


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