Hot Under The Collar

Rosie Goldmith explores the fascinating and revealing history of collars from around the world.



Originally designed purely for ostentation, the lapel provides a neat encapsulation of British social history.

Why do we wear lapels and what does that say about our culture?

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The Nehru collar, that symbol of modern India, has some distinctly non-Indian origins. Rosie Goldsmith looks at how the collar evolved and why it quickly became the uniform of Indian politicians. She also hears from the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi helped improve the clothes for the actor who played her father in the film Gandhi.

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She meets dog collar wearers of all kinds, finding out what these collars tell us about our culture and religions.

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reveal much about China's history.

From the traditional stand-up collar, as seen on Suzy Wong dresses, to the one of the mao jacket, the neckline says it all.

In the fourth of the series that looks at collars and the cultures behind them, Rosie Goldsmith finds out how these Chinese designs evolved, and what they say about China.

The stand-up collar with the asymetrical fastening is much more recent than you m ight think, and the m ao collar has surprisingly non-Chinese origins.

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Many of us wear roll necks and polonecks at this time of year.

But where does this design actually come from? No, it's not skiers.

In the last of the series that looks at collars and the cultures behind them, Rosie Goldsmith gets toasty with wollen neck lines.

She reveals their surprising histories and hears from none other than Mary Quant why they're so flattering.