All About Stripes
Ooh La La: Colonnes de Buren by artist Daniel Buren at the Palais Royal
We’ve never met a stripe we didn’t like. Pin, cabana, rugby. We’ll take them all, anytime. Our love for lines is ever present in each one of our collections. Whether we put them on a classic tee, on a pair of mules or a cashmere cardigan, stripes are a part of the signature style here at J.McLaughlin. Each season we look to art, culture and history as the muses in our design process. While our loyalty to stripes is eternal, keeping them fresh comes from a wellspring of inspiration. Sometimes it’s an iconic photograph, an art movement or even a historic landmark. Here are a few of our favorite stripe moments.
Navy & White: Jackie O in a square neck striped tee
We can’t talk about stripe inspiration without starting with Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Jackie O. has always been one of our style icons. From her days as a First Lady, to her later years as a Manhattan book editor, so many of her looks continue to be relevant and modern. We love the image of her in a simple striped short sleeve sweater for so many reasons. First, it is as effortless as can be but has such a presence. With her oversized sunglasses, beach tan and frosted lipstick, one can’t help but want to steal this look and wear it on a yacht in the Greek islands. Jean Seberg, the actress who gained fame in the 1960s in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, also immortalized the simple striped top. Both onscreen and off, Seberg, with her fresh face and blonde pixie cut often wore simple striped sailor tees and androgynous jeans. It wouldn’t be right to talk about iconic stripes without mentioning Audrey Hepburn. Another one of our perennial muses, Hepburn’s ability to make the everyday extraordinary, can not be overstated. When she pairs a striped sweater with a pair of cigarette pants, the look is at once seemingly carefree but remains revolutionary, inspiring, and eternally chic.
Look Up: The iconic stripes of The Beverly Hills Hotel
La Vie En Stripes: The Colonnes de Buren
The signature green and white stripes of The Beverly Hills Hotel have a special place in our striped archives. Part of this comes from our love of the glamour and mystique of the famed hotel and its embodiment of Old Hollywood. The other part comes from the stripes itself. Bold and inherently joyful, we can’t help but want to lay by the pool on a striped chaise lounge or eat the famous McCarthy salad at the Polo Lounge and gaze up at the striped ceiling. Mixed with art deco elements and lots of color, we often find ourselves chasing that distinct joie de vivre of this historic place. And then… there’s Paris. Famed artist Daniel Buren created Les Deux Plateau, nicknamed the Colonnes de Buren, at the Palais Royal which is the ultimate entryway for stripe enthusiasts and beyond. In addition to interiors, fine art always figures into our designing consciousness.
On The Wall: Agnes Martin’s “Untitled 2”
Artists like Agnes Martin, Paul Klee and Franz Kline both interpreted stripes in completely new and unique ways. Martin, an American Abstract Expressionist, used stripes in shades of serene colors, like her piece “Untitled 2” seen above. Klee, part of the Bauhaus movement and an expressionist, surrealist and cubist painter, focused on the use of color and geometric preciseness in his lined paintings. Kline, on the other hand, was an abstract expressionist whose works feature bold brushstrokes that evoke feelings of drama and intensity. Many of them are in stark black and white which only lends to their daring effect. Risk taking is always central to art and we try to do that with our collections, especially finding new ways to interpret classic prints like stripes.
The Breton Stripe
Iconic: James Dean dons his best stripes.
Originally introduced in 1958 as the uniform for all French Navy seamen in Northern France, the Breton striped top might be the most famous of all stripe moments. Typically a cotton tee with bold navy sailor stripes, this iconic piece of clothing has inspired countless riffs and renditions. Coco Chanel, adopted this uniform as fashion in her 1917 nautically themed collection. The collection was groundbreaking in its casual approach to women’s fashion. Gone were corsets and structured styles. She showed tees and trousers and other relaxed silhouettes. Legends from James Dean to Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol all have sported the Breton stripe. This top, and its many wearers, shows the versatility of this classic stripe. It also is significant due to its approachable nature and attitude. This is not a fancy suit or ball gown, anyone, male or female can own a striped shirt. That is true fashion equality.
The J.McLaughlin Spring Stripe
We’re taking a crisp and cool approach to this season’s stripes. This means there is a bevy of striped button downs, like our much-loved Lois and Brynn, in soft cottons and airy linens. We’re all about having a boat moment, and our silky Madeline striped shirt paired with our Carter wide leg linen trouser is just the look we’ve been coveting. Swimwear also gets a stripe infusion. Think a pink striped bikini and rashguard for her and a seersucker swim trunk for him.