History of Houndstooth

Perhaps the most recognizable print besides Burberry’s plaid print, houndstooth has had a long history in the fashion industry and continues to be used. The exact origins of houndstooth (see photo 1) is unknown, but it is believed to have come from the United Kingdom in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Despite this pattern being so much older than many other prints, houndstooth did not become iconic until Christian Dior used it in a pair of court shoes in 1959 (see photo 2). From then on, houndstooth has been used in hats, dresses, shoes, belts, purses, bedspreads, and even dog bowls– this print has been used in numerous editorials and collections through the decades. Many designers including Chanel, Alexander McQueen, and Christian Dior (see photo 3) used this classic pattern in new and interesting ways, such as in couture silhouettes, the print completely covering the models, and the print slowly transitioning to birds in flight. Houndstooth has been in the recent collections of McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, and even Dior (see photo 4). What do you think of houndstooth and its continuous presence on the runways?

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