Not much of a historical angle on this post, but have you noticed how “on trend” dogs are at the moment? Back in August Grazia magazine ran a page on ‘Pooch Prints’ (yes, I read Grazia when my wife buys it). The cheapest item was a mustard Dalmation dress from Matalan (£16). The most expensive, an Alsatian jumper from Balenciaga at Matches (£525). In a similar vein, Stylist magazine (yes, I read Stylist when my wife picks it up from the station) published a dog-themed shoot ‘Best in Show’ ( http://www.stylist.co.uk/fashion/best-in-show#image-rotator-2), matching different dogs breeds with coats and dresses.
Mulberry took dog appreciation to new levels; models for their Autumn/Winter 2011 show were accompanied by Schnauzers. According to anothermag.com the dogs ‘provided added entertainment for the audience and opportunity to show off the house’s latest collection of canine attire, a Tillie Quilted Dog Mac and the Fisherman Dog Coat.’ Quite.
Dogs also currently feature in numerous adverts – Beagles for Tommy Hilfiger, an Irish Wolfhound for Ralph Lauren, terriers for Clarks shoes, a Rottweiler for Ugg boots and so on. Clearly gender and class come into play – the Rottweiler advert is aimed at men; big, strong dogs for big, strong men. The Irish Wolfhound advert, meanwhile, has a distinctly aristocratic atmosphere.
Not being tuned into the fashion world I don’t have a clear idea of why dogs are suddenly so fashionable. I remember that Polly Vernon in Grazia suggested it’s because dogs are comforting in dire economic times. For my money, dogs link into the posh and folky looks that seem popular at the moment. The countryside is fashionable, meaning that hunting and working dogs are in, chihuahuas and toy dogs are out (Paris Hilton, are you listening?). But this begs the question; how many people who splashed out on the £525 Alsatian jumper will wear it for a muddy walk in the countryside?
If you have any thoughts on why dogs are currently “on trend” please leave a comment below. But remember, a dog is for life, not just for one season.