Designers on both sides of the pond seem smitten with gingham this season. There is an unpretentious vibe to this humble check that works well for flounced peasant dresses or crisp shirts. Gingham (or Vichy in France) turns up in traditional red-and-white or blue-and-white combos, but turquoise, yellow or other colors work too. Cotton is classic, while chiffons and sheer voiles elevate the look. There are even painterly dye effects that imitate the check, bringing a modern edge to the time-honored yarn-dye pattern.
Gingham always comes around for Resort and Spring, but this time the newness is in the scale and the attitude. Rather than sweet little checks for flouncy Bardot dresses, the new checks are bigger and bolder, and are used for stronger silhouettes. There are slouchy gingham pantsuits and oversized checks for camp shirts, knit dresses and slubby sweater sets. The pattern is used head-to-toe or mixed with florals. Our favorite mismatch is the juxtaposition of gingham with checkerboard, an approach that brings out the graphic quality of this timeless warm-weather motif.
Gingham, that innocent/sexy fifties favorite, is back with a vengeance. London designers give the pattern newness with mixed color, over-printing or souvenir patches.