When Fashion Month started it almost looked as if our fascination with print and pattern was on its way out. But a few shows don’t really make a trend and it was soon pretty clear that print was staying put. Let’s face it, in a world that contains Alessandro Michele, quirky patterns are always going to be in the spotlight.
So print still rules, that’s clear. And what a lot of prints we had to choose from. So let’s go to the extreme. In its most striking form, SS17’s print obsession couldn’t escape the menagerie with a variety of creatures from the exotic to the cute and the downright weird. But whichever category they fell into, they were a great vehicle for ultra embellishment, quirky repeats, striking placements and plenty of can’t-miss-‘em conversationals.
Feeling fishy (pictured above)
Print took a trip under the sea (or at least to the fishmonger’s counter) with edible fish, sea (and land) snakes, octopi, abstracts, cartoonish and Japanese woodblock print-style fish. Just take your pick. They work best for high summer pieces (somehow these prints would look a bit odd an a drizzly day in March) so think fishy for beachwear, summer dresses, warm weather outerwear and casual tops.
Whether it’s an exaggerated form of a jungle animal, a part-man/part-animal monster, subverted favourites (like cats and moths), the ‘animals’ of the zodiac, or (again) an Asian influence (this time Chinese), fantasy animals make a big impact on eveningwear. But as a complete contrast they also work as the focal point for T-shirts or sweats. In both cases it’s the transformational effect that counts. They drag sweats and tees out of the ordinary and turn conservative occasionwear into a directional statement. Thanks Alessandro.
Birds come and birds go as a fashion trend but they’re big news for SS17. That includes a Chinese and Japanese influence (surprise, surprise). But also think farmyard roosters and the season’s favourite – the flamingo. John Lewis said this week that customers have loved anything covered with flamingoes this year so chances are this trend will really take flight (pun intended) for next year too.
This is one print direction could influence kids wear as much as adult clothing but don’t worry that it’ll make anyone over 16 look ridiculous. It’s fun and surprisingly wearable, especially when the animals are kept as only-spot-them-up-close repeats or singled out on an otherwise plain or contrasting background. The point is always to make the animals look as cute as possible. Bouncing bunnies, Disney-esque flamingoes, cute chimps nestling in foliage – it doesn’t really matter. The point is that it makes you feel good.