Stella McCartney loves to play around with prints. She’s a big fan of humor, cartoon drawings, and whimsical motifs, having previously designed collections decorated with colorful animals, cloud illustrations, and superhero masks. As of late, McCartney’s imagination has been taken hold of by what many nostalgic English folk consider a childhood staple that goes by the name of The Dandy.
During her Pre-Fall 2017 presentation, McCartney debuted two looks printed with characters from the U.K.-based DC Thomson comic strip. Names of the mischievous cast featured on the drawstring trousers, blouse, and shirtdress include Korky the Cat, Dinah Mo, and twins Cuddles and Dimples. In addition to the pieces shown in the Pre-Fall lineup, The Dandy clan will also be featured on T-shirts, jackets, and jeans, as well as an embroidered sweatshirt and intarsia knitwear. Prices for the 15 new pieces will run from $240 to $1,795.
So what exactly is The Dandy? The title may not be as familiar as Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes to us Americans, but it’s a major part of British pop culture. Before McCartney’s new pieces hit the store and the street in May, here are five facts to know about The Dandy—once a comic and now a contender for most fun fashion print of the coming season.
1. The Dandy is the third-oldest children’s comic in the world. The first issue was published in 1937.
2. It’s no longer published weekly in print (they stopped in 2012), and while there was an online version called The Digital Dandy for a bit following the print close, that has since shuttered, too.
3. In the 1950s, when The Dandy was most popular, nearly two million copies were sold per week.
4. In later years, The Dandy featured caricatures of British pop culture heavyweights like Simon Cowell and Jamie Oliver, and the final issue included Stella’s dad Sir Paul McCartney. Earlier on in 1997, one issue included the Spice Girls.
5. Other than Stella McCartney’s new prints, The Dandy characters, including its star Desperate Dan, also appeared outside the comic strip in the form of a special stamp collection issued by the Royal Mail in 2012.
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