'You know I like my chicken fried, a cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right and the radio up', sings Zac Brown Band and in the already turbulent times of 2017 isn't that what everyone wants? A little slice of country life?
Rhinestone dresses, more embroidered shirts than an Alessandra Michelle Gucci collection, well-heeled cowboy boots; country has forever been synonymous with the 'uncool', but I will have none of it. It may be a case of confusing stereotyping (Indians vs cowboys, right?), but I have been trying to call country 'a thing' for the better part of a decade. A decade!
When Chanel hosted their Métiers D'art in Texas in 2014, I was triumphantly validated, by the highest order, but sadly, no one seemed to be listening. Then came Beyoncé ruling the world and referencing 'Houston, Texas baby' (you just sang that too, right?) in every other song and once again my plight to make country cool went unnoticed.
So when the AW17 catwalks came around I found myself toe-tappingly giddy, knowing that this time country would rule supreme. It was impossible to ignore, from New York to Paris it was a battle of Americana cool culminating in the ultimate country catwalk showdown: hat vs boot.
First came Raf's vision at Calvin Klein - undoubtedly the most anticipated show of the season - the first look he sent down the runway was a cowboy's wet dream: powder blue western shirt with piqued collars, roaring red trousers (what cowboy do you know enjoys a neutral colour palette?) and the pièce de résistance: steel toe capped cowboy boots. Country shot to cool status quicker than you could say 'Balenciaga thigh high'. See Jeremy Scott and Coach for a side lesson in Americana.
Then came London where Ashley Williams made her cowboys urban. Hipster even. Stetsons worn with tucked in tracksuits, beaded fringing and grunge-fuelled sweatshirts emblazoned with 'misery' - the central theme to every good country classic.
Next up House of Holland, a riot of red, white and blue powered by a Dolly Parton soundtrack. The cowboy hats were encrusted in jewels and there was more fringing than the combined attendees of Coachella. It was a love letter to America's deep south, a celebration of a nation that saw no need to be referred to as 'great again,' because it was already smashing it.
Milan didn't let me down either with Alessandra dedicating one of his 100+ look parade to Nashville via all singing all dancing green cowboy boots. If Gucci gives its accessories approval, it's time to dig out your boots.
In classic Parisian style Céline presented refined cowboy with sharp toed footwear. However there was still a sense of you-could-kick-the-crap-out-the-hillbilly-in-these-boots to the collection that was classic country.
And I am not alone in my thoughts, The Business of Fashion last week proclaimed that Nashville was on the verge of fashion capital status and I can see why. With Country being the biggest selling genre of music, the cowboys have clearly got a penny or too to be spending on their threads, and what's a ho-down without a croc embossed Stetson?
Whether you embrace it a little or go whole rhinestone hog, one things is for sure: cowboy is
FINALLY OFFICIALLY cool.