Top Trend: Heritage Check
Prince Harry might be the perfect example of modernity with a fiancé who is biracial, a divorcée and an American, but even his future bride Meghan Markle knows that there are some traditions worth holding onto. One of them is the most British of fashion staples, the heritage check. This season the salt and pepper Glen plaid has become the sophisticated alternative to the evergreen denim jacket and a more daring outerwear choice compared to a classic black coat.
The check has also expanded out past just these two items of clothing with brands like Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Alexander Wang using the plaid fabric to craft skirts, dresses and suits. Switching things up by using a material that is typically associated with outerwear instantly gave these items an added sartorial interest.
Other ways that the check got a modern chic twist came from how it was cut, coated or treated. At Calvin Klein designer Raf Simons added an overlay of plastic on top of his checked overcoat. Demna Gvasalia gave the Glen plaid pattern, which is usually associated with tailored and more ridged pieces, a loose flyaway asymmetrical hemline for his Balenciaga collection. While Jason Wu went with a nubby textural version of the fabric to construct his business suit, which gave it a certain feminine softness.
Overall what each these checked options prove is that today you don’t have to dress formally to get the full benefit of the Glen plaid motif. However, its historical connection to the upper crust, to weekends spent in the country and family get-togethers where tea and crumpets are served is now engrained in the fabric itself. So much so that no matter what garment a designer decides to create with the material it will be imbued with an undeniably elite attitude.
With that in mind, may we be so bold as to suggest that Ms. Markle add a bit more heritage check into her wardrobe. If anyone can seal the deal on making this blue-blood fabric even more democratic, it’s her.
Jessica Michault is the Senior Vice President of industry relations at GPS Radar by Launchmetrics. She is also the editor-at-large for ODDA magazine and contributes to publications like the New York Times, the Business of Fashion, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Mixte magazine.
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