Elise 1964 Houndstooth Suit

Exploring fashion always turns up trends du jour — sometimes lasting a decade and sometimes just a season. The houndstooth suit of our featured 1964 Elise is a wonderful example of a fashion trend in miniature. Houndstooth originated in Scotland in the 1800s and was originally worn as an outer garment of woven wool cloth by shepherds. Fast forward 130 years and houndstooth became a symbol of wealth, worn by the upper class in Europe and for American mens suits.  Christian Dior used houndstooth, which was one of their favorite design motifs. The 1960s saw the pattern revived by American fashion designer Geoffrey Beene - sometimes used with lace, and a favorite for his women's dresses, coats and a wide range of accessories. The houndstooth pattern would be a huge trend throughout the 1960s — even used by Chevrolet for car seat upholstery. Home decor got the houndstooth touch with fabrics, wall covering and carpet design. Returning again, designer Tom Ford featured houndstooth in his fall 2015 mens collection. Houndstooth was a 2015 fashion favorite on the European runways, showing up in Paris and Milan.

Elise wears her very trendy 1964 houndstooth suit with the contrasting large white pique cotton collar with an accent of lipstick red velvet bow, heels and coordinating red straw hat  — very much à la Geoffrey Beene.

Not only did Madame Alexander capture the houndstooth moment in 1960s fashion, but the new silhouette of fashion and the influence of mens clothing accents being used in women's fashion.

Dior houndstooth short jacket with "fly away" back and black wool pencil skirt - From the 1948 spring collection.

           Geoffrey Beene - featuring some of his mid-1960s design using houndstooth fabrics.