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November 10, 2022 2 min read

It is a refined and elegant fabric that never goes out of style. The two-tone pattern of the pied-de-poule is based on the repetition of broken and elongated squares that create a strong optical effect, combining two parts of different colors. It is obtained by weaving four threads of different colors, traditionally black and white, with which a sort of checkerboard is drawn, today there are many color variations.

nosetta lago di como pied de poule vintage houndstooth models

Dior - Archive

The pied de poule, literally "crow's foot", or houndstooth in English as "the shape of a hound's tooth" as its shape nicely recalls, has no well-defined origins, certainly appears in 1800 Scotland and was used on trousers, scarves, and outerwear made of woven wool cloth for the shepherds, who wore them during their long days in the pasture. Thanks to the heaviness of the fabric, they could count on an extra dose of protection; for a long time, however, the houndstooth was reserved exclusively for the men's wardrobe.
It was only cleared through customs in 1934 when King Edward VIII, Prince of Wales, known for his particular taste for fashion, wore a houndstooth suit that was taken up and commented on in the January 15, 1934 edition of Vogue magazine. It is the beginning of a myth. Shortly thereafter, the English nobility and upper middle class began to wear it more and more frequently to make it a fashionable and sophisticated fabric.

dior haute couture 2021 paris houdstooth pied de poule

Elle.it 


The final consecration comes with Christian Dior, between the end of the 40s and the early 50s when he identified the houndstooth as a symbol of class and elegance, so much so that he used it as packaging for his most famous perfume, Miss Dior. Later, he chose this pattern for some of his iconic suits and accessories. From that moment this optical fantasy was revived and adopted by different stylists who, over time, have made it a real trend.
The debut on the catwalk takes place, however, with the famous Chanel tweed suits designed by Karl Lagerfeld that gave way to a real craze. Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, and Moschino used the houndstooth for their collections, conquering even the stars of the red carpet. Later, Chanel, Albino, and Moschino, re-proposed the optical pattern on trousers, jackets, and dresses. Other designers begin to reinterpret it in a more modern way and to decline it even on more sporty garments and accessories, making it even easier to wear.
In the seventies, Optical Art, which used fantastic geometries to create optical illusions, was established. The pied de poule became a must of that period and it was used as a covering for the historic egg chair.
An American University attempted to record the houndstooth because it was the motif of its longtime football coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant who often walked aloof in his houndstooth fedora hat on game days. Much like Coach Bear Bryant's legacy, houndstooth survives through Alabama fans.
The houndstooth, thanks to its optical pattern that lends itself to the most varied and original combinations, is an evergreen that cannot be missing from the winter wardrobe.

nosetta carlia shopper totebag detail houndstooth pied de poule



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