All things bright and beautiful
From animal stripes to kaleidoscopic swirls, prints are everywhere this season, says Harriet Walker. Graphics may seem daunting, but don't be shy
Monday 31 May 2010
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.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell
Life & Style blogs
Soylent: Could a slug of nutritionally engineered sludge ever replace the leisurely meal?
Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Dear young men: The old stereotypes of what it is to be a 'man' are a load of rubbish
What lies beneath La Perla's 60 years of luxury lingerie?
Lynda Bellingham death: What is bowel cancer and what are the symptoms?
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...