Although its origin lies in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, in particular), the Gingham, the classic checkered fabric, for us Europeans has always represented one of the symbols of the most traditional America, with various references in the cinematographic imaginary, from Judy Garland to Deborah Kerr and Marilyn Monroe, to Brigitte Bardot, thanks to whom we call the pattern “Vichy”.
In the late 90s Rey Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons used it as an element to build bizarre swellings on the female body that did not follow the curves of the silhouette but flipped them and invented new ones. Since then the gingham has become increasingly popular both on catwalks (Miu Miu) and especially among those eco-fast fashion brands such as Reformation and Rouje very popular on Instagram, used for asymmetrical cuts, bizarre curls, contemporary silhouettes and contrasting shades.
For the diffusion of this trend, already identified by Nextatlas in April 2017 (Gingham’s coming of age), social media have been instrumental in creating an interesting union between traditional designs and innovative cuts.
What’s new is that today, the gingham is not only present in fashionable clothing, but also increasingly is spreading in other sectors. Often found in household goods, upholstery and tablecloths, the Vichy is a vehicle for nostalgia and playfulness, childhood and open spaces, certainly today only for the younger GenXers and Millennials, but what do the younger generations think? And what will it represent for them? Perhaps, first, they will have to rediscover the campaign.