The period c.1745-1845 was a revolutionary chapter in the history of Highland dress. With the advent of the European Romantic movement, this once regional costume was revived and reinvented to reflect the changing times and preoccupations of its wearers. Associated with the warrior culture of Gaelic society, by the close of the Georgian era Highland dress had been transformed into an urbane fashion statement, a popular subject of antiquarian interest, and a patriotic icon of Scottish identity in Britain.
As a living tradition, Highland dress is deeply rooted in the material history of Scotland. National Museums Scotland cares for an outstanding collection of tartan and Highland dress objects, amassed since the foundation of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in the late eighteenth century. Based on four years of research and reassessment funded by the William Grant Foundation, Highland Style harnesses these unique holdings to reveal the fashionable origins of modern Highland dress culture.