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Fashion flashback: Fringe! See the trend, from rock 'n roll to the runway

Fringe is adorning everything from shoes and bags to jackets and skirts this season, but this isn't just a fleeting fashion moment.
/ Source: TODAY

Fringe is adorning everything from shoes and bags to jackets and skirts this season. But this isn’t just a fleeting fashion moment — trendsetters have been stepping out in tassels since the 1920’s. From Western jackets to flapper dresses and beyond, here’s a look at how this iconic adornment earned its place in fashion history.

 Jennifer Lopez, Olivia Wilde
Fringe flashback: Jennifer Lopez on the "Today Show" July 13, 2001 in New York City. Olivia Wilde attends in New York City on April 15, 2015.Getty Images


It’s no coincidence that the free-flowing, fringed Charleston dress (named after the popular dance) became the evening look of choice during the Fitzgerald era. As women in the US earned the right to vote, they shed the restrictive and structured clothing of the 19th century and embraced a liberating style of dress that would shimmy right along with them. Screen sirens like Gertrude Lawrence and Joan Crawford nailed this ritzy look.

Flapper Dress
Circa 1925: Full-length portrait of a woman wearing a formal evening dress while standing in front of curtain. Getty Images

Rock ‘n’ Roll

The glam fringe of the 20’s and 30’s was soon replaced by a much more rebellious version. Seen on leather biker jackets (like the ones Elvis Presley made famous) this rock ‘n’ roll fringe was fierce. Think Harley Davidson riding Hell’s Angels members — or Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider — and you’ll get the idea.

EASY RIDER, Dennis Hopper, 1969
Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider," 1969.Everett Collection


Taking a page from the Native Americans (who originally wore buckskins trimmed with fringe for functional, rain-repelling purposes), style icons like Cher and Jean Shrimpton frequently wore fringe that had a Western feel. From capes and dresses to vests and even pants, these garments often came in brown, white and neutral shades of suede.

Cherished, Cher
Cher sporting fringe on the album cover for "Cherished" in September 1977.Warner Bros.


Hippies made fringe an integral part of their freedom-seeking wardrobe. While the music of this era ranged from folk to funk, so did the fashion, with colored and beaded fringe complimenting gypsy dresses, tie-dye tee shirts, hooded ponchos and more. Jimi Hendrix famously rocked out at Woodstock in a fringe jacket, and this festival look that has since become iconic.

Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock,  1969
Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969.Everett Collection

Stage Divas

Tina Turner literally brought fringe center stage in the 80’s, wearing it for numerous performances, photo shoots and appearances. Since then, divas like Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and Taylor Swift have all followed suit, embracing glitzy, glittery fringe as their ideal costume adornment for major concerts and award shows.

Tina Turner
Tina Turner on stage at the Ritz in New York City in October 1981.Getty Images


Fringe has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, and today can be found not only on jackets, dresses and skirts, but on accessories, too. From Amal Clooney to Kate Moss, the biggest names in fashion are wearing fringe to everything from music festivals like Coachella to date nights in New York and fashion shows in London.

 Alessandra Ambrosio
Model Alessandra Ambrosio on April 11, 2015 in La Quinta, California. Getty Images

Here are a few of our favorite fringe pieces of the season:

AEO Suede Fringe Crossbody Purse, $70

Blank Denim Fringe Shorts, $98

Mango Suede Fringe Belt, $60

Ella Moss Jessie Fringe-Hem Pencil Skirt, $168

Minnetonka Maui Sandal, $53

River Island Fringed Biker Jacket, $118

ASOS Fringe Top in Burnout, $33

L*Space Audrey Fringe Bikini Top, $73

Mango Fringed Cotton-Blend Sweatshirt, $60

ASOS Fringe Suede Collar, $90

Jayley Silk Fringed Cape, $99

Zara Fringed Suede Jacket, $199

Vince Camuto Truman Fringe Dress Sandals, $84

Urban Originals Castaway Small Fringe Shoulder Bag, $90

Zara High Heeled Leather Booties, $119

Free People Fringe Poncho, $68