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SS20 key trend: Prints Charming

Sandra Halliday
17 September 2019

Print has been on a roll since… well, I can’t remember when. This century has certainly been a print-focused one so far as core silhouettes move slowly but print is used to ring the seasonal changes.

And guess what? Print will be big news for SS20 too. And one of the biggest print stories is a totally retro look at nature. The 1920s may have been ushered in on a wave of modernism but the 2020s are looking wistfully backwards.

Maybe it’s the uncertain times (although 1920 can hardly be said to be the most stable period coming just after a global war and an equally destructive flu pandemic). But the fact is that in volatile times we often look for the security and reassurance of the familiar.

JW Anderson, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Erdem

The new prints seen from some key London fashion Week names certainly provide that. Frequently resembling antique illustrations, like images from a 19th century botanical book or maybe one about the exotic animals of countries far from Europe’s shores.

Think stylised florals, whether densely printed fields full of them or simple repeats and placements, again with the feel of a Victorian illustration or the kind of print you’d find on the porcelain of the day.

What they all have in common is a wistful charm that lends itself well to the season’s long, fluid dresses as well as its sheer blouses, summer coats and jackets and, most interestingly, as statement prints on bags.

Colour-wise they also offer maximum flexibility from a full-on celebration of the colours to be found in a field of florals to more restrained mono- or duo-tones, again reminiscent of antique porcelain or the wall coverings and textiles of the period.

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