As we look to fall we begin to take in the changes in the weather, as well as our hopefully "well-seasoned" wardrobe. Patterns and prints are mainstays of stylish looks, no secret there, but this week let’s take a look at the depth and breadth of prints when they’re paraded down the runway. Our inspiration will be the autumn and winter collections of The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City, where both unsung and well-known designers alike do their best to inspire everyone who loves new ideas.
Graffiti has been an inspiration for many fashion designers because the colorful patterns are specifically created to catch the eye of the passerby when painted on buildings or even subway cars. Though illegal in most cases like that, they’re positively breathtaking when seen walking the runway. Over the top when done as a set, as seen in this photo to the right, but as a piece here and there in a wardrobe, it provides an “urban chic” look that demands attention!
Geometric lines are all the rage when much less crisp and blurred. They lend a softer quality to our favorite color combination of black and white, as seen here in this shift dress by designer Douglas Hannant. It’s still graphic, yet different and intriguing. I like the diagonally-placed pockets with buttons, as well as the contrasting collar.
Muted abstract patterns are also on view this season for those who literally think outside the geometric-or-floral box. Here we see a monochromatic take on a nature theme (I’m guessing). The pattern looks almost like branches to me, and the dip dying of the coat bleeds into the pattern at the cuff of the sleeves and bottom hem. Again, this runway look may be a bit much for some with the matching boots, but you have to admit it catches your eye! Artistic for sure, but also red hot when it comes to a unique perspective on prints.
Here’s another take on the classic black and white. As we all know black and white cannot be beat for prints and patterns of any kind. But, with this two-piece sportswear look we return to the urban jungle of graffiti once again. This look totally pops, and looks quite comfortable, too! Keep in mind that unique prints are nothing to be afraid of when done in small doses.
Reptile patterns like all animal prints are a mainstay of fall fashion. Another look from Douglas Hannant is this coat dress with a snakeskin look. It also features leather banding at the collar in rich brown, as well as the cuff and front placket. Classic and contemporary all at the same time!
Last, but not least, is this off-beat floral top for winter that’s been paired with winter-white wool pants. Florals in winter are a tricky business, but keep in mind that when done in rich jewel tones, or when softly muted, they feel less summery and a bit more rich. Floral patterns are easy to work with by simply pulling one of the colors out of the print and finding a solid piece in that tone to pair with it. Trust me, this works every time.
So, the next time you’re at one of our well-organized stores, let your eye scan the racks for prints that stand out in a good way from the rest of the pack. Chances are if you’re drawn to it, it will work for you! Taking inspiration from nature, and yes even urban culture, is a way of imbuing your wardrobe with a personal touch. And, by purchasing an item or two (or even three) from our stores, you’ll be helping someone in need of job training. Now go out and make a print-tastic discovery of your very own!