First Image
Hound's-tooth Check
Christian Dior loved the elegance of Edwardian dress (as worn by his mother) and the tailoring and tweeds of the male English aristocrat. During his short (10-year) career as a couturier, he returned constantly to them. He was especially stimulated by Prince of Wales and hound’s-tooth checks in sharp black and white.
It’s not hard to see why. Hound’s-tooth was his favourite, used in varying scales to create an authoritative look for his trademark suits, formal jackets and city coats. He knew that black and white is a combination that can only happily be worn in cities, because it works with the sombre greys and neutrals of pavements and buildings. Think of how dramatically friesian cattle leap out at us in a meadow and you’ll see why Dior felt that black and white didn’t work well in the country.
Would we care today? Probably not. Modern women wear what they wish, when and where they feel like it. In Dior’s day, dress was expected to be mannerly, as a reflection of the sensibilities of the refined woman who, at that time, was the only one with the spare hours and cash to give any real consideration to social rules of clothing. And for them, it was simple. Whereas black and white hound’s-tooth could speak clearly and strongly in town without losing any of its refinement, in the country it would be as rudely exhibitionist as raucous laughter in a vestry. Beautiful as Dior’s clothes were, thank God we’ve moved on since those days of artificial, class-conscious attitudes in fashion – or have we merely replaced them with our own equally meaningless dress codes?
(First published January 2006)

Picture Source; Sunday Time Style. January 2006