All things bright and beautiful

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

From animal stripes to kaleidoscopic swirls, prints are everywhere this season, says Harriet Walker. Graphics may seem daunting, but don't be shy

The spring/summer catwalks are always a riot of colour, high hemlines and tropical fun that we dour northern Europeans, with our coats and boots, just can't get away with in winter. But this season, there was an extra dimension to the usual summer whimsy, which came in the form of every imaginable type of print.

Big, small, loud, chic, animal, mineral and digital. Everything from chintzy vintage curlicues to stark modernist geometry adorned sundresses, jackets, playsuits, shorts and trousers.

If you feel daunted by this, you're in good company. There are few brave enough to don a garment that has more of a presence than we ourselves do, but now's your moment to try it. For the fearless, there are acidic brights and swirling kaleidoscope prints that veer from recognisable animal stripes into digitally manipulated morphs and back again. For those who like their opticals less eye-wateringly bold, try one of the many monochrome pieces available on the high street. The main exponent of these Op Art-esque stripes and swirls was Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, so channel his modern gothic look and pair your prints with harem pants and bunched, pin-tucked skirts.

Inspiration also comes from the unique digital prints seen at Alexander McQueen, whose collection narrated the evolution of an other-worldly humanoid, aquatic creature. Deep-sea gold tones and watery sapphire were key colours and have been picked up on the high street, as have the shimmering, fluttering pseudo-Grecian drapery and folds

Over at Miu Miu, however, things were a little more, well, cute. There's no other word for the playful cats, swallows and kitsch naked ladies that scampered across pencil skirts, blouses, cut-away tops and collars, and this is one of the easiest ways to integrate a print into a wardrobe that is otherwise free of graphics. Plus, they're a great talking point.

Prada too have released a prints collection as a capsule range, which has been spotted on everyone from Carey Mulligan to Kate Bosworth, and rifles through their extensive archive to bring ballet pumps, tea-dresses and blouses new life. If you can't stretch to those prices, there's a slightly more affordable tote bag which will add verve to any ensemble too.

A few words of warning: don't mix your prints, and don't mix your genres. Keep things slick and streamlined with modern, angular prints; you can add ruffles and flounces to tropical and vintage prints. Pay attention to detail, and choose printed accessories if you don't want to go the whole hog. Basso & Brooke have even decorated a Turning Leaf wine bottle with a digital print label – just make sure it doesn't clash with your outfit.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones