Amidst the constant ebb and flow of what’s currently trending in fashion—in case you missed it, the ’80s, ’90s, and early aughts have all been resurfacing in modernized iterations—some things never change. A beige double-breasted trench coat or a crisp button-up are time-tested wardrobe essentials. Equally compelling as style fundamentals are certain prints—think: the sharp Breton stripe and even leopard spots. But, having just wrapped up the first leg of Fashion Month, we noticed one such classic pattern pop up in more than one place: houndstooth.
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Marked by repeating mini jagged four-point shapes, the well-known print has been a staple since the ’30s. The not-so-humble houndstooth you often think of feels prim, sometimes dainty, and found in a suit of sorts, which is why it felt right at home in Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2019 collection. Boxy blazers and outerwear in oversized proportions all bore a black, white, and amber medley—elegant, understated, and the classic pied-de-poule you expect, with slightly looser shapes for a modernized aesthetic. Prabal Gurung took a turn for the more embellished, adding lace insets, ruffles, bows and even pockets.
Where the print was reinvented however, the ladylike attribution easily dissolved. At Area, houndstooth came out in full force as a jumpsuit, petite bralette, pants, and every other form of garment imaginable. You’d have to look closely though to see how the designer duo had created a revamp: The letter “A” was subtly woven into the shape, a nod to their label’s initial. Where houndstooth truly strayed from its stereotype as a polished look was ultra-evident at the hands of Rio Uribe; for Gypsy Sport’s show he magnified the tiny squares into a myriad of sizes, resewing asymmetrical patches of them into a medley of a pant. Take that alongside Vaquera’s cropped, ’80s-esque jackets and baggy pants, and you have a far cry from the stately pencil skirts and sheath dresses of Upper East Side luncheons.