Haute Historian: Classic Gingham In The Modern World

March 2, 2015 • Haute Historian, Magazine

Gingham History, Marilyn Monroe, Spring 2015 RTW

A popular mainstay in fashion, gingham fabric has made its mark in American prep, as a Rockabilly staple, all over the streets of London and more. Seen on the runways for spring 2015, gingham proves its place as a fashion staple that never goes out of style.

Gingham is one of the most quintessentially classic fabrics—after all, it’s about 500 years old! It’s usually associated with American and British prep, gingham is said to have originated out of Southeast Asia. Although gingham is now related to checked patterns, it was originally a striped pattern. Its name comes from the Malayan word genggang, or “striped.” The fabric is dyed before it’s woven and is identified by its colored yarns going against the uncolored yarns, giving it that “checked” appearance.

The fabric made its way into the English language in the 17th century, when it was imported into Britain under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. It wasn’t popular until the 18th century, though, when it began being manufactured in Manchester and the southern United States. And in a time of economic slump, gingham boomed because it looks the same on both sides, making it reversible.

Gingham is used all over the world as towels, school uniforms, pocket squares and more. Durable and easy to wash, the fabric has made its way in the modern world and is here to stay.

1. Marilyn Monroe in gingham trousers, 1953

2. Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story, 1940

3. Altuzarra Spring 2015 RTW

4. Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2015 RTW

5. Lela Rose Spring 2015 RTW

– Tanisha Wallis

Sources: GQ, Britannica, Fred Perry

Image Layout: Second City Style

 

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