The Trending Pattern We Thought Was Over Just Keeps Getting Better
A checkered past, present, and future.
Published Aug 24, 2022 1:35 AM
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We may have spoken too soon when we said everyone would be moving on from the checkerboard craze. If anything, the pattern continues to show up everywhere: in bedding, on wallpaper, and in chic store flooring. Just this month, Bloomingdale’s doubled down on the print to celebrate its 150th anniversary with a collection of 300 (!) checkered products, set to launch in September. The pieces were all designed in collaboration with big brands (Dior, Tom Ford, and Le Labo, to name a few) and inspired by the black and white tiles that adorn the Manhattan flagship’s floors.
“I love to play around with colors that don’t seem like they’d go together, and I think the purest way to do so is with a stripe or check,” says Ellen Van Dusen, the founder of pattern-centric label Dusen Dusen. “I’ve based my practice around pattern for the last 12 years, and as I get deeper into the pattern void, the classics—stripes, checks, and dots—always float to the top. If you pare down any pattern to its component parts, it ends up as one of the three.” And even though it seems that these alternating squares are here to stay, we’ve noticed that brands are creating variations on the theme. Here are a few ways designers continue to keep checks fresh.
The phrase “go big or go home” doesn’t apply here. We’re seeing—though we have to squint, of course—this style getting smaller and smaller. Exhibit A: The iconic Eames lounge chair got a makeover this year with a mini print that makes the 20th-century design feel much more millennial. Meanwhile, Sarah Sherman Samuel is bringing her take to walls in the form of a tiny two-tone version from her latest collection with Lulu and Georgia.
If animal prints can be neutral, there’s plenty of room for checkerboard to blend in—and Parachute’s new collection is a case in point. The bedding brand’s rollout of gauzy duvet covers, woven rugs, and textured shower curtains in an almost imperceptible pattern proves that these squares can play it cool.
Van Dusen is a master at transforming the banal to bold—just look at what she’s done for the stripe. With Dusen Dusen’s new line of knit throws, checkerboard gets a rebrand with a pattern-on-pattern approach that turns each square into a stripy party.
For those who prefer to color outside the lines, Pieces delivers a wavy variation. In collaboration with Home Union, these woozy-looking rugs come in retro colorways inspired by 1960s- and ’70s-era Italian design, and the result is *chef’s kiss*.