Gingham: It’s a divisive subject. A look that serves a combination of school uniform, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, milkmaid, and picnic blanket vibes- None of which have ever filled me with an urgent need to get on board. But lately, i’ll admit my resolve is softening. Like it or loathe it, gingham has joined the ranks of leopard print: less of a trend and more of a staple. And let’s face it, leopard print’s oversaturation has meant that its previously frivolous and slightly daring connotations are no more; It’s ready to have its crown toppled, and gingham feels like it could be a surprise successor.
So how has gingham got its teeth into our summertime style so firmly? Originally conceived in India as a cheap fabric for tea towels, it was picked up in the UK as an inexpensive wartime fabric. Then Biba rediscovered it as a symbol of teen spirit in the 1960’s and the rest, as they say, is history: In turns wholesome (Doris Day), sexy ( Marilyn Monroe) and wholesomely sexy (Brigitte Bardot). Not to mention practical (picnics) sensible (school uniforms) and iconic (Dorothy).
What gingham has never been is cool. And this, friends, is where ss22 comes in. Somehow this season the catwalks have managed to teach an old check a new trick: A little bit sporty; a little bit androgenous. Suddenly our picnic blanket favourite feels like it’s got edge! A brave new world of gingham. I am here for it. (Well I haven’t actually dived in yet but in the interests of research a blazer and shorts suit may have made it into my shopping basket.) Here are some excellent non Yellow Brick Road worthy gingham pieces. Ding dong the gingham milkmaid looks like she’s finally dead.