Queen of the palazzo

Cut with a loose, wide leg that flares out from the knee, Palazzo pants are a fluid and expressive trouser style that have always caused a stir whenever they've been worn. This season, Favourbrook has created two stunning styles that are as versatile as they are sophisticated, making them a wonderful alternative to the summer dress. 

Originally seen worn by fashion's most fearless - women such as Coco Chanel in the 20s, Katharine Hepburn in the 30s, rebels in the 60s, and on numerous catwalks in recent seasons - palazzo pants were the counter-culture style de jour. Their origins are those of necessity as women rebelled from the patriarchal view of femininity being restricted to the skirt. Banned from wearing trousers to many an establishment in the 20s, the palazzo pant was a way to circumvent the prescribed dress codes, first starting off as men's wide-leg trousers before evolving into a silhouette altogether flattering, fluid and delicate.



The concept of palazzo pants is in the name - 'palazzo' meaning palace in Italian. Hence they were deemed elegant, classy and stylish, fit for the socially mobile lady of luxury. They were most likely to have been inspired by Asian fashions of the 20s when in China, the nobility of the era liked to wear wide-leg pants made of silk (hence why palazzo pants are often called pyjama pants). Back then, they were used almost exclusively for casual outings such as going to the beach or lounging at home, but for the women of the 30s the palazzo pant took on a more integral role in their day-to-day wardrobes, wearing them with a simple button down blouse or belted tunic.

Constructed in light and delicate fabrics, they lent themselves well to breezy summer wardrobes then as now. Whether apocryphal or not, it's said that Coco Chanel became a fan of palazzo pants during a trip to Venice as they made boarding gondolas in the Venetian heat that little bit more comfortable. Often worn by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo, the palazzo pant became an indelible mainstay in womenswear.



The 40s saw the palazzo pant drift out of fashion, primarily because many British women were now working in the war effort and the wide-leg was simply not suitable in the workplace, especially when machinery was involved. But the 50s and 60s saw them come back albeit narrower than the styles that had gone before them, that is until flares and bell bottoms became a hit in the 60s and once again palazzo pants were in every discerning wardrobe up and down the country.

The 80s saw the return of the power suit, with many designers - notably Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan - choosing to use palazzo pants to balance the masculinity of the tailoring. Whereas the cigarette pant was sharp, edgy and sexy, the palazzo pant offered a more bohemian alternative to a tailored blazer or tuxedo.

Which takes us up to the here and now. Palazzo pants seem to be more relevant than ever, able to be worn in all manner of outfits from classically tailored dinner jackets to chic resort looks. Hence the two styles we've created this season are a conduit between the smarter elements in your wardrobe and the more laid-back summer pieces. The plain black style in Georgette silk are a fabulous alternative to a cocktail dress when worn with a black dinner jacket for example, whereas our more ornate black and navy blue Gosford tulle have a playfulness perfect for everyday looks.