There were once restrictive diktats about what gingham could connote: twee domesticity, a wholesome femininity and sweetly pastoral associations that, frankly, lacked any enigmatic allure. Come resort ’19, it has been touched with the season’s broader brush of energetic reinvention. It’s the traditional undercut with new thinking: once found on polite 50s dresses (see Brigitte Bardot’s wedding-day sundress), it now pops up on sophisticated pencil skirts, crisp tailoring and, for summer, sleek swimwear with a touch of whimsy. It is a well-credentialled summer fabric, after all, it had its birth in traditional lightweight cotton and linen. It is all this and a foil for a youthfulness of spirit, a mood with applications for all age groups. Although the sweeter younger sister of the brassier and bolder check, there’s nothing less brave about doing the rounds in gingham. Alice Birrell
From left: Ephemera bikini top, $190, and bottoms, $125; Bec + Bridge swimsuit, $130.