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Hats, Hood & Tights

While Nottingham's recent "48 Hours of Fashion" event was showing off the City's talents to the fashion industry, I wonder how many realised that our ubiquitous folk hero, Robin Hood, also knows how to set trends in the style and costume business – and it's not just down to him wearing green tights!

In 1938, when the classic Errol Flynn movie "The Adventures of Robin Hood" was breaking box office records and receiving Oscar nominations, Hollywood's fashion conscious designers were quick to adapt the influences of the iconic Robin Hood hat into stylish millinery that tastefully complimented the tailored suits and smart dresses being paraded on the catwalks. Originally used by Medieval foresters as practical, working headgear, the traditional features of the hooded cowl and the long pointed brim with decorative feather were innovatively interpreted into fashionable feminine hats and hoods that appeared in numerous films of the era and often also became a focal point of consumer advertising in magazines and on billboards. (One of the most famous designs was used to promote the Craven A brand of cigarettes in a perfect blend of taste and style!).

In more recent times the Robin Hood "brand" was even developed by Far Eastern fashion entrepreneurs into the Robin Hood of China casual clothing range, featuring jeans, sweaters, jackets and leisure wear accessories that carried the image of Robin shooting an arrow as the trademark embroidered logo.

Apart from always being in the Top Ten designs for fancy dress (hired or homemade!), Robin is also a popular theme in the world of canine couture! That's right – dressing up your pet pooch is a passion with certain sectors of America's doggy-doting community and among the selection of themed apparel for dogs on the internet is – you guessed it – the obligatory Robin Hood outfit!

It seems that even now, many centuries after their Medieval origins, hats, hoods (and tights) can still set the fashion!