Colors & Patterns

Earning One’s Stripes

Words by Sara Pierdonà
Images by Guido Taroni and Miguel Flores-Vianna
Shop Stripes Edit

“You shall not wear a garment that is made of two” suggests Leviticus. But this wasn’t enough to discourage men to make striped fabrics and clothes. In the Middle Ages stripes had an extremely negative connotation. In Italian municipalities the possibility of wearing stripes was regulated by the lex sumptuaria, the law against the display of extravagance. Stripes were intended for prostitutes and prisoners because they were easy to see and made escape difficult. Everywhere in Europe striped clothing was relegated to outsiders such as jugglers or slaves. In the paintings the devil himself is frequently depicted wearing stripes. It was the turmoil of the 18th century that redeemed striped garments: the American victory in the Revolutionary War made the two-tone banner famous. Finally, by the end of the 19th century, Queen Victoria dressed her son in a sailor suit during a Royal Yacht boarding event and since then stripes were accepted as a harmless pattern.

Tajima, Dai Nippon rokujugo shu no uchi, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1845



“Kameda stripes,”a fabric that often appears in ukiyo-e and was popular in Japan during the Edo Period.



The ultimate celebration of stripes must be ascribed to Coco Chanel: she was inspired during a trip in the French Riviera, fascinated by simplicity of workers’ uniform.



Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sailor Boy (Portrait of Robert Nunès). Oil on canvas, 1883.



Red, white and blue stripes are a timeless classic. Designed by Casa Lopez, the dinner plate is stunningly simple yet equally with a bold visual impact. Its versatility makes it perfect for a casual summer gatherings, or more formal settings when paired with a delicate dessert plate.

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It’s astonishing how many variations there are on something as simple as straight lines: sussi, a typical Punjab fabric appreciated in colonial times, sarape, the Mexican folk costume, the kilim carpets from the Iranian province of Mazandaran.



Exclusively designed by Cabana, this luxurious pouf takes inspiration from an original design by the legendary Renzo Mongiardino. The sophisticated yet relaxed silhouette and unique geometric form evoke the eccentric interiors that define the Cabana aesthetic.

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The Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba, Spain.



These exuberant water tumblers are handblown in Italy from the finest quality Venetian glass. The marriage of bold pattern with innovative glasswork represents a blend of tradition and contemporary style that defines the Cabana spirit.

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West Quoddy Head Light, Lubec, Maine, United States.



Produced in exclusive collaboration with Sensi Studio, these rectangular placemats are specially woven from straw in Ecuador and feature a bold multicoloured pattern. Simple yet stylish, they adorn a formal dinner or a casual lunch al fresco with equal charm.

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