Make mine a madras
Designers look to the lightweight check from India for summer smarts, whether classic or avant garde
Madras cloth, which takes its name from the colonial name of the Indian city of Chennai where it was first home-spun, started life as the cloth of the subcontinent’s peasant class. The fabric became a status symbol in the US during the 1930s because only Americans wealthy enough to afford overseas holidays during the Great Depression had access to the material. Designers’ interpretations this season have given the cloth great variety. Cut into a double-breasted summer suit—as seen at Dunhill—it looks as devilishly dashing as Brideshead’s Sebastian, while Raf Simons’ casual plaid shirts evoke nostalgia for post-war America. However you choose to wear it, the fabric is chic and lightweight— perfect for the summer months.