Style file: Print and patterns clash is in fashion

Indulge in this summer’s trend for bright and brash motifs and allow clashing patterns to run riot. Wearing top-to-toe prints is no longer a fashion faux pas

Fashion’s rule book has been torn up and re-written so many times that these days pretty much anything goes. Take pattern: once restricted to single garments, with the head-to-toe look being the sole preserve of “wacky” children’s TV presenters. Timmy Mallett may have cast a longer sartorial shadow than his diminutive size would imply, it’s now time for riotous patterns to step into the light again.

And light is important. The print clash trend comes into its own in the (supposedly) sunny days of summer, as the brash colours and shapes can withstand the brightest of sunrays. There are of course subtle ways to wear the look – a colourful motif overlaid on a background of graphic checks or stripes, for example, are perhaps the most office-appropriate versions. But when it comes to pattern, this season fortune favours the bold. Known for his gusto when it comes to prints and patterns, Henry Holland has teamed up with London-based illustrator Hattie Stewart for the pre-fall collection for his House of Holland label. Simple shapes – T-shirts and jersey dresses – feature classic Nineties movie posters including Cocktail and True Romance overlaid with Stewart’s cartoonish doodles and scrawls.

 

Just launched on Asos are the fruits of a collaboration with the Textile Federation which saw fashion students compete to have their designs sold by the retailer. Bold print and colour feature heavily throughout the designs of the four winners, such as Emma Edwards of Northumbria University.

While some garments have patterns fighting for dominance, another way to experiment is by aligning contrasting prints on different items – a classic Breton striped top with a pair of palm print trousers, for example. An unexpected bonus of taking a more laissez-faire approach to what goes with what, is that you will suddenly see harmony in your wardrobe where once there was discord.

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