It’s tempting to look for some kind of political statement in Huit‘s eye-catching new Scottish Queen ensemble, but I warn you, you’ll be disappointed.
It’s not (as I had hoped) a salute to Mary Stuart and her woeful house, nor an attempt to stir up controversy ahead of the next Scottish independence vote slated for 2014.
In fact, it would be quite inappropriate for Huit to wade into those waters, since it’s a French lingerie label that was recently rescued from fiscal collapse by the English mega-brand Eveden, its new owner and overlord. Sure, the French and the Scots famously plotted against the English throne way back in the Braveheart days, but I somehow doubt this lingerie set is a continuation of that subterfuge.
Likewise, it’s not a tribute to the current and rightful “Scottish queen”, who will mark 60 years on the throne this year with an endless assortment of commemorative bric-a-brac.
Nor, for that matter, is Huit‘s “queen” tartan a slap at Scottish lingerie label Ultimo, which created its own distinctive tartan lingerie ensemble last year (although I suspect that if Scotland ever does get its own queen again, it’ll be Ultimo chief Michelle Mone, who probably has enough money and nerve for a coup d’etat.)
And finally, it should be pointed out that Huit‘s Scottish Queen is in no way meant as a slight against the manhood of your average kilt-wearing highland male, even though it would make a smashing addition to some of the costumery on display during the annual GlasGay Festival.
No, the Scottish Queen set is nothing more, or less, than one of this spring’s catchiest styles, and it’s showing up in shop windows around the world. The rainbow-hued tartan has some nice button detailing and comes in a balcony and push-up bra (with Huit‘s Magic Air inserts) and shorty and thong brief styles.
Huit is a venerable name in French lingerie, and its addition to the Eveden stable (they own Freya, Goddess, Elomi and other brands) brings another dose of playful, chic lingerie styling into the UK and global market. In fact, if there really is a message in the Scottish Queen set, it may simply be Huit‘s way of thanking their new UK owners for the 2010 bailout that saved the brand.
That Huit chose to do so with a tartan pattern this year is a bit risky, since tartan purists are easily rankled by new patterns that lack a proper, discernable lineage that can be traced back to some 12th Century peat bog.
Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful, modern print and hopefully the beginning of a new tradition. What’s more, it’s worthy of that ancient Gaelic toast-to-the-tartan: Mayest thou enjoy it / Mayest thou wear it / Mayest thou finish it / Until thou find it / In shreds, in rags, in tatters!
Here’s a look at the rest of Huit‘s adorable spring line for 2012: