If you’d asked me this morning what that pattern is called, I would have told you it was gingham.
I’d have been so sure that it’s called gingham that I would have bet everything I own on it.
But if you’d taken that bet, you’d currently be enjoying my collection of scented candles and copies of Vogue from the 00’s, because I was wrong.
That pattern, which everyone knows is called gingham, is not called gingham. It’s called Vichy.
Not gingham. (Picture: Getty)
If you’ve heard the term before, chances are it was in the context of your History GCSE, rather than in fashion. Vichy was the name for the unoccupied portion of France during the second world war.
And it’s also the official name for this checked pattern, popular with high fashion designers and picnic enthusiast alike.
Vichy is also the name of a small French town where the pint was historically made (though examples of the print are also found all over the world, with dutch-occupied Malaysia and India having their own claim on the original).
Weirdly, retailers like Zara have suddenly embraced the print’s proper name, as Who What Wear reported. Why? We’re not sure. Maybe gingham feels a bit old hat and it’s a way to update a classic, or maybe it’s just an homage to the print’s roots.