Dusters were every where this past spring — showing up on bloggers, street style stars world-wide and on off duty models — with no signs of vanishing from our radar anytime soon — Valentino, Etro and Balmain were a few designers whose Fall 2016 collections included their own versions.
But, where did the duster stem from and what is the significance of the trend in today’s modern world? Dusters were originally worn by horsemen to protect their clothing from trail dust. So, it’s not out-of-place that when one thinks of “duster” coats, the iconic image of the western cowboy hero comes to mind. Kurt Russel and Val Kilmer portraying Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday in Tombstone, or Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time In The West starring Henry Fonda. You associate this garment with men who had swagger, strength and charisma. A man who could and would save you, who would lay his life on the line for what was right and just.
What does it say about women that we have taken the duster on as our own, and in the process made it a huge trend? Is it an extension of the empowerment we presently feel? After all we did just break the glass ceiling with the first female presidential nominee. Are we saying we’re ready to embrace the cowgirl within us all and tap into our bad ass selves? In a strange way Lena Dunham and her friends have given us lessons on various past Sunday evenings. Or, maybe, we’re aware it’s time to show off our super powers (The floor length duster coats are similar to capes worn by super heroes), and become our own heroes.
Whatever the reason women are stepping up to the plate, we’re leaning in more and more, and we’re owning our place. We’re not afraid to show our muscles and use our brains. This gives me hope. Hope for the next generation of women and for the world today.
Before I go, another western comes to mind with a different kind of cowboy hero. In The Quick and the Dead, after duster-wearing Sharon Stone blows away the evil Herod, played by Gene Hackman, in a duel, she tosses her father’s old U.S. Marshall’s badge to Russell Crowe, another quick-draw gunfighter, and says, “The law’s come back to town.”
Shop the trend:
Street Style // Kylie Jenner // Karolina Kurkova // Street Style
ASOS Duster Coat in Relaxed Fit // Silence + Noise Drapey Midi Duster Coat // Preen By Thornton Bregazzi Jette Gingham Twill Trench Coat // Top Shop Contrast Panel Duster Coat // Zara Flowing Trench Coat // Raey Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat