On International Chess Day today, we look at how the classic checkerboard pattern has made its way on to runways and wardrobes
The checkerboard pattern has taken a scenic detour from race car culture and traditional chess boards and is currently having its moment in the sun thanks to the rise of gingham and a growing fondness of the picnic table aesthetics. Classically associated with spring, this playful pattern was originally associated with lumberjacks but soon turned into one of the biggest mainstream patterns in the West. By the 1970s, this pattern gained popularity in the interior design industry. From there on, it has checked all the right boxes and made its way from tiling to the fashion runways.
Gaining popularity during the Ska movement (also known as the two-tone wave) this monochrome pattern represented the fusion of ‘white’ and ‘black’ sounds in the music business. Over the years, it progressively evolved into a signature look for both skaters and the streetwear style generation championed by brand like Vans. Numerous designers including Louis Vuitton and Burberry also jumped on this bandwagon with their trademark checkerboard patterns and famous tartan-check pattern, respectively. Recently, this print has made an appearance on the runways in the Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada Autumn Winter 21/22 collection, Maison Margiela Spring 2022 collection and Emilia Wickstead Autumn Winter 2022 collection.
Checkerboard pattern still remains a fashion favourite and continues to stay relevant with fresh colours, unique textures and warped designs. From summer-ready gingham dresses, houndstooth bags to window pane shirts, it keeps popping up in the market in various shapes and forms. Hints of this feel-good, fun and symmetrical trend has already infiltrated our Instagram feed with checkerboard nail art, handbags, denim and multiple sightings of celebs rocking it.
The most fashionable and impactful way to wear it is by pairing checkerboard pattern with other patterned pieces in contrasting colours, or you can easily wear it with a pair of timeless blue-wash denim as well. They are ideal for putting together a playful and fun outfit with a variety of designs and accessories.
Inputs by stylist Pallavi Awasthi
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