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History and evolution of the check pattern

And a shopping guide to add a timeless piece to your winter wardrobe

History and evolution of the check pattern And a shopping guide to add a timeless piece to your winter wardrobe

Traditional for the Scottish clans, subversive for Vivienne Westwood, iconic for Burberry, a timeless classic especially in winter, the so-called check pattern, a term stolen from the game of chess, is back once again.

Like the English origins of the brands that made it their leitmotiv, the check, or rather the tartan, sees the beginning of its history in Scotland. The endless combinations of the warp and weft of this wool fabric, gave life to the colors of the clans that made up the Scottish society of the sixteenth century, and to their traditional kilts. Then became the uniform of official occasions under the reign of King George IV in 1822, but no one could imagine how far this pasttern would go.

Check and tartan

But what is the difference between tartan and check? The term check tends to generalize all fabrics made up a grid of colors. In reality, the tartan is characterized by multiple horizontal and vertical bands which, when crossed, give the impression of creating other color combinations. While the check is made up of only two stripes of alternating colors, creating a "checkerboard" effect. The check itself has three other variants, very common but less known with their proper names, such as Gingham (or Vichy), Windowpane (two thin lines that intersect create large windows) and Buffalo (whose two lines crossing create games of full and empty spaces between the lines). The latter, especially in red and black or black and white, is often used by the outerwear brand Woolrich. The Prince of Wales, the crossroads of pied-de-poule lines, could also be added to this great family.

Tartan
Gingham/Vichy
Windowpane
Buffalo

 

Check in the fashion archives

It will be after the Second World War that the check will enter the collective imagination. From the tartan interiors of Burberry trench coats (which appeared around the 1920s) worn by stars such as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and by businessmen, a status symbol was born that was soon questioned by the social protests of the 1960s. From there it became the predominant feature of the punk and rebellious iconography of the designer Vivienne Westwood. Later, in the 90s, the Caten twins by Dsquared2 will mix it with denim on their catwalks, in homage to their Canadian origins, another country that uses tartan on official occasions. In the 2000s his exploits on the catwalks of Versace, Miu Miu, Dior, Chanel, Ermanno Scervino combined with animalier, flowers and brocades of the period. But to remain in the history of fashion will be the interpretation of Alexander McQueen, of Scottish origin, on the occasion of the FW 2006/07 fashion show called Widows of Culloden. The show ended with the hologram of Kate Moss had enclosed all the historical essence of this pattern in the young designer's collection.

Check today

Sarah Burton, who succeeded McQueen, brings a Scottish warrior to the catwalk for the FW2020/21. Macro check for coats with wide lapels, the kilt tied to the left shoulder, as tradition dictates, becomes a single-shoulder dress combined with leather, and the Prince of Wales suit joins black in a patchwork game. Vivienne Westwood is certainly not afraid to propose it together with an animalier in shades of red, or by mixing different items in check. Both she and Posh Spice Victoria Beckham offer the classic shirt, alone or in a preppy-chic total look. And how not to mention Burberry, once again. But also in Milan and Paris the check is available. From Etro to Tod's, the thousand uses of this fabric follow one another, up to the latest fresh trend of the season, the shacket.

What's the shacket? It is not a simple shirt, it is not even a jacket, it is the union between shirt and jacket that is conquering everyone. Unmissable in the wardrobes, the check is a warm embrace for this fall / winter, for an excursion to the mountains (color permitting) and plaid and Netflix evenings. To find the combination of colors, perhaps and length that is right for you, nss G-club selected 10 shackets (and checked hats to match) that will never go out of fashion, in a mini shopping guide.

 

SHACKET

WE11DONE

WE11DONE

ACNE STUDIOS

ACNE STUDIOS

TIBI

TIBI

KITH WOMEN

KITH WOMEN

ISABEL MARANT

ISABEL MARANT

OFF-WHITE

OFF-WHITE

OTTOD'AME

OTTOD'AME

& OTHER STORIES

& OTHER STORIES

NOAH NY

NOAH NY

WOOLRICH

WOOLRICH


HATS

NOAH

NOAH

STUSSY

STUSSY

SANDRO PARIS

SANDRO PARIS

COMME DES GARÇONS

COMME DES GARÇONS

BURBERRY

BURBERRY

GANNI

GANNI