I wonder at times, how the world would look, without patterns!? Pattern making is no doubt a highly skilled job and calls for an extremely procedural aptitude and sensitivity to interpret a design with a pragmatic comprehension of apparel construction. Knowing this piece of knowledge, I somehow couldn’t accept the fact that stripes were worn by scandalous folks, in the era of its advent! Yes, you heard me right, amigos. Stripes are my favourite pattern. For centuries, stripe has been around but it was in the medieval era when it had first surfaced.
In his book, The Devil’s Cloth, Michel Pastoureau writes, “In the medieval Western world, there are a great number of individuals — real or imaginary — whom society, literature, and iconography endow with striped clothing. In one way or another, they are all outcasts or reprobates, from the Jew and the heretic to the clown and the juggler, and including not only the leper, the hangman, and the prostitute but also the disloyal knight of the Round Table, the madman of the Book of Psalms, and the character of Judas.“ It was believed that stripes due to its eminence of high visibility disturbed or perverted the established order. A French cobbler was sent to death because he had been caught in striped clothes!
“The horizontal stripes of black and white, applied in such broad widths, appear vulgar and brash—something undignified imposed upon the wearer,” write Mark Hampshire and Keith Stephenson in Communicating with Pattern: Stripes. However, the modish stripe has progressively transformed into a tool for setting things right. It is believed that in 1846, in a Royal Yacht boarding event, Queen Victoria dressed her son in a sailor suit which broke all assumptions of stripes being associated with criminals! Stripes evolved. The comers became entranced and started admiring any kid wearing stripes. By now it was connected with words such as “sea” and “marine”.
In her trip to the French coast, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel found inspiration in the ’Navy and White Stripes’ knit uniforms of the marina labourers. She immediately integrated the stripes in her 1917 collection and a maritime collection was born. Late in the 20th century, , the Breton top has become one of the most trendy items in the world of fashion. Worn and much-loved by many of the fashion-icons in the history such as Audrey Hepburn, Alexa Chung, Jane Birkin, Edie Sedgwick and Brigitte Bardot. Chanel’s interpretation of the sailor stripes forever changed its place in the world of fashion. Don’t you remember Marilun Monroe saying, “ I Sea Stripes!”?
Stripe is a big thing today! Victoria Beckham celebrated her brand’s 10years in the fashion industry with this collection, in her first show in London Fashion Week, 2018.
Stripe is here to stay. Zebra, bar code or the pedestrian crossing are just few that you may have known, because of its popularity! There are distinctly 16 types of stripes! May be the detailed version of these 16 types of stripes, can be dedicated in another blog.
2018 saw a lot of stripes and in beautiful versions of dresses, jumpsuits, pants, and jackets, raging in different colours. Especially the vertical stripes were more liked because of the visual imagery that it creates and gives the wearer the look of being tall and slim.