Riding has always been an infatuation for me. As a girl I went horse riding and learned everything I could about horses, in case my mum brought me a chestnut mare home one glorious evening.
There is an endearing fascination with the equine as a mode for symbolic inspiration. Those dressage coat tails and plaits are superbly severe and tailored, thus perfectly influencing fashion. John Galliano for Christian Dior, Spring 2010 was an extraordinary play on the theme. Traditional red coats and tight skirts walked down the runway, provoking thoughts of women riding side saddle and cracking their whips to go faster, faster! Now lets talk accessories; arm length leather gloves, top hats and riding crops – sigh – they hold a sense of erotica.
The horse as a symbolic motif is something of an enigma. Man has struggled to tame them and equally revelled in the freedom they give. Through history, the Horse has become synonymous with a driving force – passion revealed. Strength in emotions and a certain energy is promoted by the horse. To wear such an outfit invokes a feeling of power, control – prestige and endearment. Giddy up!
The Whip as you can imagine draws one to think of mastery, control, domination – also of determination by the holder. Of course it is used as an erotic tool these days, but before these days its symbolism was of triumph. The ancient Egyptians displayed it as a token of their power, the ancient Romans did a similar thing by hanging it upon the chariots they rode triumphantly back home. The latter having historic ties to the capture of not only slaves, but animals too – really anything the Romans could take from the defeated they would. The whip signified not only their win, but the submission from those captured.
Out of respect to someone above you, one might take off their right glove. As you can imagine, the symbolism is closely related to that of the hand and its associations with giving. To take the glove off was to give ones full attention, to let down ones guard.
All images from Style.com