Go go Gingham girl!

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Gingham or Vichy fabric is a type of simple, woven cotton or linen cloth. Originally it had a regular bright coloured stripe but later appeared as a check or plaid pattern. The name may originate from Malay genggang, meaning ‘ajar, separate’. Alternately, it is speculated that the fabric now known as gingham may have been made at Guingamp, a town in Brittany, France, and that the fabric may be named after the town.The equivalent in the French language is the noun vichy, from the town of Vichy in France.

History of Gingham?

Many countries claim gingham fabric to be a staple of their own textile history and culture, from India to Cambodia or Massaï culture. This fabric has had many multiple uses. In Europe, and especially in France (where the common name Vichy is used) this fabric tends to be associated with the authentic: country-style, rustic symbolism, especially for children. In the early 20th Century, gingham fabric proves immensely popular with young girls’ dresses and school uniforms. Gingham is also fashionable for romper and play suits for young boys. The durability, bright colours and lightness of the fabric makes it a winner for summer wear.

In the 50’s and the 60’s this fabric is the symbolism of youth where from Italian and French influence bold colours and geometric patterns are considered modern, fashionable and youthful.

Popular Looks and Retro style

Since the 60’s the use of gingham fabric has bloomed in the fashion industry around Europe. In the UK a big trend in gingham shirts are the popular look from brands like Fred Perry or Ben Sherman. Shirts in gingham become a big trend for mods. In France an iconic image of the french Vichy version is Brigitte Bardot and her famous vichy skirt in Saint Tropez. Also the famous chemisier from Sylvie Vartan. Those looks become so popular in Europe as well as in the United States. Vintage rockabilly fans around the world can also bee seen sporting gingham shirts for both men and women.

A gingham swing dress also creates a vintage look for fans of rockabilly style and music revival. In fact the vintage gingham dress or blouse is a must-have item for a vintage-lover’s wardrobe.


Currently, in the last NY and Paris fashion shows we still can see many collections using Gingham pattern. Mainly in pale colours to create retro silouhettes for next summer collections. It’s always associated to nostalgia and retro looks but is a definitively timeless fabric for any summer piece.

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