The Best Check Coat Of AW20 Was Inspired By The Women's Institute
Ever since the days of the former Duke of Windsor’s aptly named Prince of Wales check suits, check has been on the GQ radar.
It was seeing swathes of windowpane, tattersall, gingham and glen plaid swish their way down the AW20 runways in London, that got our style senses started tingling. There’s something utterly dependable and totally seductive about a strong check after all.
Fortunately, checks were not only shown in abundance, but also at their purest in London. At Nicholas Daley, the designer showed a collection which was inspired by American jazz legend Oliver Nelson and Anglo-Guyanan painter Frank Bowling, and it was full to bursting with checks large and small. From the opening look of a dressing gown-style coat and matching fuzzy burgundy track pants, to the array of expanded check fisherman and hunting jackets, the patterns on show were playful and energetic.
At E Tautz the look was more classic: Prince of Wales check double breasted blazers and oversized macs, rubbed hems with denim cargo pants and textured judo pants. Charles Jeffery, in fabulous form, showed a series of kilts, suits and hats in his classic sky and scarlet tartan.
It was at Bethany Williams, however, that the check trend really came into its own. The young creative - who was honoured as the emerging menswear designer at last year’s Fashion Awards - showed a collection mounted in support of the Magpie Project, a charity which aims to help families with no recourse to public funds.
The closing look was not only a lesson in conscious design, but also in how to do check properly. Consisting of an oversized blanket coat of patchwork plaid in shades of sunshine and sky blue, it was a piece inspired by the work of the Women’s Institute, which creates a personal blanket for every baby born into the Magpie family.
If you plan on wearing checks this season or the next, I would advise investing in an oversized check coat and a pair of matching trousers. Less likely to garner Rupert the Bear comparisons and easy to style with the coat off. Look to the aforementioned get-up from Nicholas Daley for easy inspiration.