Cigar Aficionado

From Scotland With Love

I don’t go to many runway fashion shows, but I’m glad I made an exception for Dressed to Kilt, New York’s annual celebration of all things Scottish, complete with celebrities modeling kilts. There is nothing like a show of nationality to get the blood stirring: proud countrymen dressed in the fine textiles of Northern Britain, eating the local delicacies (thankfully no haggis) and supporting a good cause (the Wounded Warrior Project).

All right, all right. I admit it. I went for the free Scotch. 

Glenfiddich was a sponsor and supplied the whisky as well as the talents of mixologist Charlotte Voisey, who created a trio of beguiling themed cocktails.

But that’s not to say I didn’t come away with a newfound respect for other things Scottish. A profusion of plaids and kilts was in evidence as guests were encouraged to dress for the “Mad for Scotland” theme. The women were bade to wear hats. Many kilts were in evidence, which I’ll admit could be a bit disconcerting when you entered what the sign said was the men’s lavatory, only to be greeted by a crowd of skirts.

Stars walked the runway in kilts and otherwise. Some had obvious Celtic connections—like Mike “if it’s not Scottish it’s crap” Myers, Alan Cumming, Kyle McLaughlin and Andie MacDowell. For others, such as Al Roker, the connection wasn’t as clear. But he danced a jig to prove his fealty to the Highlands. Joan Jett managed to make kilts look punk. Matthew Modine, sporting a huge tam, lugged a bike as well as a bottle of Glenfiddich. Country singer Kellie Pickler represented the Southern Scots. Perhaps strangest of all was Mercedes’ cosponsorship of the event with a plaid hybrid parked outside the venue: M2 Lounge.

Such British textile manufacturers as Begg, Holland & Sherry and Lochcarron lent their support as did such designers as Vivienne Westwood, Deryck Walker, Joey D and Judith R. Clark.

A somber moment among the gaiety came in a show of support for the event’s cause. Three injured war veterans walked the runway with prosthetic limbs peeking out from their outfits.

Photo by Lloyd Bishop

One who was glaringly not kilted was the host. But I suppose he can be forgiven. You may remember him for vanquishing the bully in Darby O’Gill and the Little People or heroically going down with the ship as a Titanic deckhand in A Night to Remember. But I can’t seem to blot out the image of the Scottish actor in a recurring role of a more sinister nature—Bond, James Bond—wherein the brigand regularly promoted, of all things, vodka Martinis (shaken not stirred). Thankfully, Sean Connery has got things straight now and has thrown his support to the amber nectar of the Highlands. And this time he’s not just blowing smoke up your kilt.

"Mr. Bettridge, I am an occasional smoker. I have recently started spending a little more money on cigars. I want to learn more about cigars as I would eventually like to be able to pick cigars other than the b rand names. I was hoping you could give me the name of a good book that would summarize everything i need to know about cigars. Thanks" —May 5, 2011 23:11 PM
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"The real question is did you a kilt?Jack??????" —April 6, 2010 22:46 PM
"I didn't go in a kilt, but not that I'm ashamed to wear a skirt. Use this HTML address to see me and Savona in drag." —April 7, 2010 10:03 AM