Every new year brings with it a crop of new resolutions, and we here at Who What Wear have committed to one stylish promise for 2012: to fearlessly embrace the trends we've always longed to try, no matter how intimidating they may seem! Head-to-toe prints, the focus of today's Runway 2 Real Way, is one of those trends. While fall's subtle prints and somber shades are certainly easy for everyday wear, spring calls for a tad more excitement in the form of these busy patterns. Indeed, why play it safe when you have a chic Parisienne-inspired blouse and pants set from Louis Vuitton or a sleek spotted version from Akris? Though the initial idea of a matching top and bottom set seemed fit for only the stylishly spunky, we confess that we are now head over toes (er, heels!) in love with this bold and daring look.
Though loads of labels showed fabulous head-to-toe print looks for Resort 12, we particularly applaud the efforts of Louis Vuitton, Suno, Akris, and Marc Jacobs. Louis Vuitton and Suno are notable for showcasing intricately detailed prints on modern silhouettes, thus making this trend instantly wearable. Vuitton's design director Julie de Libran swathed the 2 Pockets LS Blouse ($1684, 866.VUITTON) and matching Flare Pocket Pants ($2084, 866.VUITTON) in Marine Fonce, a charming Eiffel Tower motif in navy and white. While the relaxed shape of the silk button-down tucked into high-waisted slacks offers a supremely comfortable ensemble, the pairing also oozes easy elegance. Suno's Max Osterweis and Erin Beatt opted for a very different, albeit no less chic, silhouette as a backdrop for their Little People Print Jean Jacket ($520) and Little People Print Pipe Pants ($495). Dotted in a pattern of, well, little people, the jacket and cropped pant combo is styled with black socks and sneakers for a quirky tomboy look.
Adventuresome souls should refer to Akris' feisty take on this matchy-matchy trend. Worn separately, creative director Albert Kriemler's Abstract Leopard Print Short Motorcycle Jacket ($3990, available at Neiman Marcus) and Abstract Leopard Print Pants ($1250, 212.717.1170) would certainly stand out on their own, but worn together, the pieces make for one dynamic ensemble. However, if your personal tastes veer towards the unexpected, Marc Jacobs' linen Olive L/S Classic Shirt With Epaulette And Pocket Detail ($650, 212.343.1490) and Olive Patch Pocket Pants With Topstich Detail ($750, 212.343.1490) features a mono damask print-suitable for the girl who's anything but a wallflower! Though cloaked in an elaborate Baroque-inspired pattern, Jacobs's loose-fitting getup still flaunts a cool and casual vibe befitting of a resort collection.
Lest you think head-to-toe prints are solely confined to the runway, we present Gaia Repossi at a dinner party to benefit A.E.M. in Paris last December. The jewelry designer turned up at the soiree in Celine's Hibiscus Poeny Print Twill Long Boy Shape Shirt ($1050, 305.866.1888) and Hibiscus Poeny Print Twill Tapered Pants ($960, 305.866.1888) from the Resort 12 collection. Style-savvy Repossi tempered the exuberant floral pattern with a few simple accessories, like Balenciaga's black ankle boots, Rick Owens' clutch, and Repossi's pink gold Berbère ring and multipiercing earrings. We think the artful pairing of the ladylike floral print and edgy elements is a fresh, feasible way of wearing this look.
If you feel inspired to integrate head-to-toe prints into your own wardrobe, we suggest Marc by Marc Jacobs' Havana Floral Print Silk Top ($459) and Havana Floral Silk Tuxedo Pants ($398) in Horizon Teal Multi. The short-sleeve shirt and retro high-rise trousers come in a delightfully tropical crimson and blue motif, and lend a flattering silhouette to any wearer. If you prefer a more nonchalant appeal, we love Tucker's blossoming Long Tie Shirt ($273) and Printed Slouchy Pants ($133). Another way to work this look into your everyday attire is by trying a matching blazer and pants combo, such as ASOS' Blazer In Floral Print ($118) and Cropped Pants In Floral Print ($73) or River Island's Black Floral Print Blazer ($70) and Black Floral Print Slim Leg Trousers ($46). Both options allow you to mix the printed separates with solid-colored pieces for a variety of versatile outfits.
Not a lover of these blooming botanical patterns? Tibi's ornate Easy Blouse ($186) and Cobweb Lace Print Pants ($169) are effortlessly glam when worn together, while Sonia by Sonia Rykiel's star-spangled Printed Silk Crepe De Chine Blouse ($450) and Printed Silk Crepe De Chine Pants ($460) offer a playful twist on head-to-toe prints. We're also fans of the repetitive yellow, white, and black flag pattern in Easton Pearson's colorful Asta Top ($439) and Syriam Pants ($549), as well as the purr-fectly adorable design of Topshop's Paw Print Roll Tee ($130) and Paw Print Trousers ($180) by Boutique. No matter your print preference, we guarantee you'll feel quite heady wearing this bold runway trend in real life!-Tiffany Tse
Photo of Gaia Repossi, courtesy of Getty; Louis Vuitton runway photo, courtesy of Louis Vuitton; Suno runway photo, courtesy of Suno; Marc Jacobs runway photo, courtesy of Marc Jacobs; Akris runway photo, courtesy of Akris.