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I started making my own pocket squares, the draws, choose the support, the patchwork, prints, fabrics, embroideries from the beginning of Howard's PARIS creation, in early 1997.
If some of you see the pocket square as a simple piece of fabric, for me it's just the opposite. I decided to make it an accessory completely integrated into my collection because it magnifies easily and beautifully any outfit. It is polyvalent and has a rich story, which we never talk about, unfortunately ! I will take this opportunity to tell you about it and... share some anecdotes with you...
The history of pocket squares starts in the Antiquity, in Egypt, Rome and Greece, mainly.
Originally, the richest and most powerful people used to wear a white linen pocket square as a tissue. It was a sign of wealth and belonging.
This habit was then pursued to Medium Age, in Europe : the wealthiest people use a silk pocket square, larger than the tissue itself, in order to impregnate them with perfume and therefore protect them from the "urban miasma" smell.
For the historical anecdote, King Richard II has often been considered as the inventor of the first real pocket square.
For him, it was a fashion accessory that he preferred to wear with pronounced patterns and highly visible prints (almost) ostentatious. Later in France, the pocket square was quickly considered as an indispensable accessory at the "cour de Louis XVI".
In fact, it's very simple. Imagine yourself at this time: silk is booming, embroidery particularly fashionable... It has therefore very easily become a fashion accessory within the men's locker room !
The cashmere "paisley" patterns and colored borders (especially the pretty embroidered borders) find their place on the king's pockets: this is the beginning of the "fancy" pockets.
1900 : the rise of the pocket square is closely linked to the rise of the two-piece suit.
Particularly esthetic in the jacket pocket, even then, it was quite common to see men wearing two pockets : one in their pants pocket (which had the role of a handkerchief) and the other in their vest pocket (as a fashion accessory garment).
However, the appearance of paper tissues in grocery stores, a few years later, makes the pants pocket squares obsolete.
Therefore, it was not only a decorative accessory but also a trend...that was born. This trend also confirmed itself in the 50s in the United States, where men begin to have fun with their outfits ... and bare wearing accessories !
It can be considered that, during the 1950s, the pocket square takes an important place as the pocket handkerchief. Both visual and aesthetic differences are notable: its edge is rolled and finished by hand; its dimensions slightly larger.
In the XXIst century , pocket squares are definitely anchored within our society. It is considered as a sign of elegance among the gentlemen of the Western world.
Since then, the technical developments have made it possible to obtain more varied designs, patterns, patchworks and colors.
For the final anecdote, several Hollywood actors started wearing pocket squares for their roles in movies (as in their daily life) including Cary Grant, Gary Cooper or Frank Sinatra. And that's what helped it to be completely democratic and integrated in people's mind.
However, in the 1980's and 1990's, we have to admit that pocket squares, in general, have a hollow and take a step back in the world of dandies and gentlemen... but makes a comeback in the 2000's...pushed by a vintage trend and the creation of the business-chic style, inspired by the American TV series like Mad Men with Jon Hamm.