Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gingham Icon

Just for fun we searched for a Swedish icon in gingham - Liv Ullman, Ingrid Bergman, the Abba girls - to no avail. Swedish American movie stars like Maggie Gyllenhal and gorgeous Uma Thurman fell short as well. The girl in gingham icon award goes to Brigitte Bardot, oui? In the late fifties she single -handedly put gingham back on the map (the towels would come later) with looks like this in Paris Match.

Here is BB at her 1959 wedding to Jacques Charrier in a pink and white gingham dress by designer Jacques Esterel. But she was wearing gingham
even a few years back, in 1956-57, when she was dating jazz guitarist Sacha Distel.

It is hard to tell in this black & white AP photo of the lovers but the dress is blue gingham. She and Sacha recorded together and one can imagine her following him around on tour; a big stop on the European jazz circuit being Stockholm. The 2nd track on Sacha Distel's Midnight in Paris from this period with Bardot is titled Lunchtime in Stockholm...really! She must have loved Sweden because it was the country she threatend to move to during her fractious animal rights fight with France.
Who would you meet for lunchtime in Stockholm?


  1. Any idea what was so superior about the Malay striped cotton cloth that made it worth importing to Sverige?

  2. It was all worth importing as Swedish fabric weaving was easily eclipsed by the cheap yet sturdy fabrics coming out of the East. The Swedish East India Company was backed by some Brits intent on making some serious money too. From what I gather, Penang, then the most major port in Malaysia, was where they would stock up on fabrics.