August 30, 2010

The Dude in a Cowichan cardigan

The Big Lebowski:  Jeff Bridges Chills in a Cowichan CardiganOf all the mismatched, gaudily patterned and coloured attire Jeff Bridges as ‘The Dude’ wears in The Big Lebowski (1998, directed by the Coen Brothers), that ubiquitous Cowichan-type cardigan sums up his character best of all. Threadbare, scruffy and in need of a good wash, the pair sure do go well together.What it signifies:Born out of the West Coast of America, specifically San Francisco, in around 1965, in sartorial terms alone the hippie craze was part of an anti-fashion explosion sweeping across the world at the time. It was another way to thumb one’s nose to the establishment, or perhaps more customarily ‘The Man’.

In the sixties there was as emergent back-to-nature feeling in response to increasing global capitalism, mainly spurred on by youth. Knitwear was more popular in the sixties than any other decade since World War I. Indigenous clothing, such as Cowichan, expressed affinity for Mother Earth.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Genuine Cowichan Sweaters in Store and Hudson Bay Company Invented Cowichan Sweaters?!

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