For most people, Kilts are deeply rooted in tradition. It is hard to imagine a Kilt outside of a formal occasion or as the ceremonial dress worn to celebrations of Scottish heritage. In recent times, however, the kilt has shifted further into a contemporary capacity. With more modern designs born of fertile imaginations, the kilt has began to transform into a more rounded item of clothing. Movie stars, musicians, fashionistas, and people in general are slowly discovering the allure of the kilt.
Over the years, kilts have found their way on to stages and red carpets; being sported by big time musicians and film stars in more esoteric attempts to capture the imaginations of fans and observers with their fashion sense.
Kanye West notoriously took to the stage in a sleek, leather Givenchy kilt while touring (something he seems to regret a great deal now); Korn front-man Jonathan Davis would often wear black kilts during live performances; Ewan McGregor is known to wear kilts to film premières; and even Vin Diesel has proudly donned one. Of course, the most significant moment in the history of the popularity of the kilt would be the release of Braveheart. Mel Gibson's William Wallace did more than anything else to bring kilts to more people than ever before.
To cross into more contemporary styles, it did not take too long before kilts were made with more subdued and subtle colours. People began to prefer less traditional tartans and more stylish patterns with no clan affiliation, thus opening up the kilt to anybody and everybody. Not to say the clan tartans have lost all relevance though; more people come around to kilts, the more likely they are to discover and pursue any potential heritage. And not to say the kilt has lost the capacity to be practical; the “Utilikilt” sports pockets and lots of freedom of movement for people at work.
Decades after the inception of the Great Kilt and the need to wear heavy clothing to protect from the Scottish climate as well as supply shelter and bedding, the kilt has taken up the mantle of a Scottish icon. Whether it be as a fashion statement, a symbol of tradition and heritage, or simply to show your love for Scotland at the odd event, the kilt is more popular now than it has been in many generations.