Hound’s Tooth and Cock’s Foot

Like paisley the old hound’s tooth is a classic.

It is a swastika like square with protruding arms. The word swastika comes from the Sanscrit svastika which means good luck. It’s a charm against evil in India and in Japan a symbol of perfection. The motif may also indicate the circular movement of the heavens. Or represent any peaceful movement springing from a central source.

So it’s a popular device with many variations and many names including pied de coq.

The very talented Madeleine Vionnet used it all over in this graphic coat. She said she preferred the purity of solid tones, black and white.

It’s a powerful print.

| Vionnet hound’s tooth coat with three buttons and a transformable collar, 1930 |

Here are a whole lot of black and white versions of the hound’s tooth.

| Geometric houndstooth patterns, from Susan Meller and Joost Elffers’ book on Textile Designs |

And Alexander McQueen’s hound’s tooth from 2009.

| Alexander McQueen, hound’s tooth suit, scarf, and boots, 2009 |

Julia Ritson

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