I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this and it might be one of those micro trends that is about to build but have you noticed a proliferation of gingham? Just me?
This cotton check material – which, for those of us who grew up in the 70s was ubiquitous – is creeping back into pictures and shoots and suddenly, after years (and years) of stripes feels rather new and fresh. Even though it’s just coming back round.
Some of you may remember the French actress Brigitte Bardot wore a pink gingham dress to get married which sparked such a rush it led to a gingham shortage in France. The original influencer! And of course Dorothy was wearing blue and white gingham when she went to meet the Wizard of Oz.
Its origins are unclear – it maybe indeed be French (from Guingamp in Brittany, a bit like Denim from De Nimes) or some say it could be Dutch.
Weirdly, despite its name, wherever it came from, being synonymous with checks, it started out as a stripe.In the mid 19th century it was woven in the Manchester textiles mills which is where the check, usually blue and white, first began.
It was popular because there is no right or wrong side as the fabric is dyed before it is woven and this makes it very economical to sew with. You can read more about it in this very detailed post here.
The fashion sites have been talking about gingham for several months making clear the difference between the small checks that are true to the style, and a larger check, which also began to emerge following the runaway hit that was The Queen’s Gambit (have you seen it? You MUST. I don’t often lay down rules but you mustn’t miss that and no you don’t need to understand, like or even play chess to get into it).
If you caught last week’s episode of Interior Design Masters, you might have clocked the rather fabulous checked polo neck that the former model and design director of Soho House Linda Boronkay was wearing. I’ve checked, by the way (haha) and it’s sold out. But it was from Nanushka if you want to see more.
And of course we know – all together now -what starts on the catwalk will end up on the cushions… or, ahem, tiles.
So are you in or out? It’s one of those classics that is having a moment so you don’t have to worry about it going off. Or out. At the moment it looks more modern with a floral print than a stripe. But you can use both.
I’m not ready to wear it again yet but I am eyeing cushions with a very beady eye.
What do you think? Unlike brass which is expensive and hard to change (taps etc) this feels like something easy to get on board with.
And now I’m off for my vaccine, best birthday present ever (vaccine today, birthday yesterday).