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From humble beginnings did the stripe first come to be. Now look at it. Heralded by fashion powerhouses, loved by interior designers, and even give the royal stamp of approval. Little has changed in its appearance yet season after season the stripe continues to transform, re-imagining itself into new guises, delighting and surprising its reams of fans. So this season, we're saluting all things stripey.

A potted history
Stripes had a tough start. Once upon a time they were worn only by prisoners, clowns and the condemned. Then things began to change and they were adopted as the uniform for French sailors in 1858. That very uniform was the first iteration of the Breton stripe shirt. The original design featured 21 horizontal stripes, one for each of Napoleon's victories. Fast forward to the turn of the 20th century when Coco Chanel was holidaying in the French Riviera. Seeing the striped clothing worn by the marina workers she decided to launch a new nautical collection, and so fashion stripes were born.

Stripes and types: a handful of the most celebrated stripe styles

The one we all know and love is the Breton, or marinière. Historically an equally spaced arrangement of navy blue and white horizontal stripes, it's now celebrated in almost every colour.

Then there's the Bayadère which was borne out of Latin American shores and is recognised for its multi-coloured appearance of often vibrant, contrasting stripes.

Pinstripes are the skinniest of the stripe family and have become synonymous with the 'executive' look.

Then there's the railroad stripe. Probably the most vintage of all the stripes, the railroad is pinstripe skinny but soft and faded with a subtle fuzziness and tight, vertical arrangement.

Stars and stripes: notable name-drops of iconic stripe wearers
Pablo Picasso. Andy Warhol. Audrey Hepburn. James Dean. Brigitte Bardot. Alexa Chung. Kurt Cobain. Coco Chanel. The Duchess of Cambridge.


The spring/summer '16 stripe, by Neptune

Meet Agatha. Our first foray into patterned fabric simply had to involve the stripe. We were spoilt for choice. So we embraced that and created a fabric that plays with colour, thickness and spacing. Designed first and foremost to be used vertically, it's lovely when it's lying down horizontally too. In Navy it's at its most nautical, while our other beachy shades of Oyster Pink and Stone are a touch quieter in their seaside reference.


Stripe styling
With stripes, it's just so easy. Like with anything, you can be as bold as you like. We've seen striped floorboards in alternating paintwork, and the same on walls, although not at the same time. You can play it safe and stick to one colour sat in a complementary colour palette. Or, you can find a middle ground and have a little fun, experimenting with striped upholstery, accent pieces, contrasting colours and patterns (see our mix of our Gabriela ikat print with the Agatha stripe), and different styles of stripe all in one scheme. A stripe can be chilled out, but don’t underestimate it, a stripe loves to clash from time to time. Dressed-up vs dressed-down, both work when it comes to stripes. From fashion to interiors, it really is quite the all-rounder.


Stripes by Neptune