You are unlikely to immediately think of fashion when someone mentions the word 'folk'. No doubt you will probably be thinking of a field, some hay bales and perhaps the odd sheep wandering around some idyllic hamlet in the middle of nowhere. Fashion is from the city, folk is from the country - the two just don't mix.
Yet, whilst fashion may often seem to simply be a world of glitz and glamour it often takes reference from the natural world in a way that many folk artists do with their music. Lyricists use nature as a means of creating imagery whilst designers use it within the images they create. From weather to water and fruits to flowers musicians such as Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn and ready-to-wear designers alike use nature in its entirety - both fashion and folk complimenting each other to great success.
One design duo who effortlessly achieve this is Rodarte. The Mulleavy sisters understand and use the link between folk and fashion in a way that few people do. They use nature as the muse of all their designs whatever they may be, consistently creating beauty. It is this beauty which has caught the eye of fashion editors and celebrities across the globe, searching for unique yet classical designs to occupy their wardrobes. From Dakota Fanning to Anna Wintour, who coincidentally has supported them ever since their humble ten piece collection beginnings a mere six years ago, the fashion world is hooked.
Interestingly despite their success the two sisters still lead the folk like lifestyle which they've always led. They may be fashion royalty but they haven't left their hometown. Thus instead of being city-based socialites the two remain the simple romantic girls they've always been, popping into New York only when necessary, allowing nature to be a continuous form of their inspiration. And this couldn't be more evident than in their recent SS show, which featured piece upon piece of Van Gogh inspired clothing - rural of course but runway ready.
Like Rodarte, Marling and Flynn enforce the link between folk and fashion too. They do so through the crossover between both their music and their styles. Marling in that whilst her music is folk her style is sophisticated demonstrating that folk fashion need not have the farmyard chic air it is known for. Be it at the Brits or dotted in the pages of Vogue with a blonde pageboy bob or long brunette locks Marling is both a folk and fashion icon.
Interestingly Flynn, being a man who needs his flannel shirts and little else is also becoming quite the fashionista. Having been a heart throb to many a folk fan since his artistic debut due to his draw dropping features, he like Marling has expanded his horizons to mix his flannels with designer wear. The mix is perfect. And it's those gorgeous good looks along with his talent which have earned him his Burberry model status.
Thus fashion designers use folk just as folk artists use fashion and why not? Folk is beautiful, as is fashion and together the two really are quite delicious. Are you a fashion folk?