On the Runway
If you're curious as to how these oversized prints were used on the S/S 12 runways, let us direct you to the subtler interpretations first. At Roland Mouret, large leather tulips were placed here and there on slinky sheath dresses, like the chartreuse Chettham Dress ($1679) shown above, giving the illusion of flowers falling delicately from the shoulders. The tulip print is large in scale but the scattered design isn't overwhelming, so the frock feels more chic than playful. We noted a similar effect on the underwater prints at Versace, namely the seashell and starfish pattern featured on the Neoprene Printed Bra ($1045, 888.721.7219) and matching Skirt ($1350, 888.721.7219). Though the print came in a cheerful neon green hue, its sporadic placement made for a more sophisticated and polished outcome.
Of course, the prints only get bigger and bolder from there! Take the blown-up star print featured in Rodolfo Paglialunga's S/S 12 collection for Vionnet, for example. The mingle of multi-colored stars shown on the top above enliven the entire outfit and offer just the right amount of visual intrigue to the understated silhouette. At Dolce and Gabbana, however, the trend was interpreted through large painterly prints covering crop tops, full skirts, and ladylike dresses. We are particularly smitten with the Organza Onion Print Dress ($2295, 877.70.DGUSA), as the charming vegetable pattern feels perfect for summer.
On the Red Carpet
If after reviewing the aforementioned runway looks, you're ready to try this trend in real life, then perhaps Solange Knowles' neutral take on oversized prints will leave you inspired! At a fundraiser in New York City last month, the fashion plate embraced a toned-down version of this bold outfit idea with the help of a photo-print pencil skirt. Careful to not upstage the attention-grabbing piece, Knowles added a simple white button-up blouse and black sequined clutch. We also like that she gave the outfit a fresh pop of color with coral peep-toe heels, resulting in a professional, modern, and completely accessible look.
While we adore all of today's featured tops, dresses, and skirts, you should know about a few more standout pieces. For starters, we love the African Tulip Print from Diane von Furstenberg's S/S 12 collection. The oversized pattern comes in a few must-see colors and is featured on a couple of different dress styles, like the subtly sexy purple Ruri Dress ($398) and the Laramie Belted Maxi Dress ($565) in Coral. Speaking of maxi dresses, we also approve of Alice + Olivia's Robin Printed Silk Crepe de Chine Maxi Dress ($495); its luxurious fabric and gorgeous magnolia print make it a lovely option for a summer wedding. If you're looking for something a little more bright and playful, we have a feeling you'll enjoy Easton Pearson's Printed Silk-Satin Skirt ($595) and Marni's Oversized Floral Print Top ($559). Additionally, we think Forever 21's Floral Shift Dress ($23) and Oasis' Placement Palm Print Dress ($116) are stellar selections, especially if you're after an affordable option. Finally, if you'd like to imitate Knowles' black and white look, don't miss Zara's Printed Skirt ($70) or Marc Jacobs' Large Daisy Printed Mini Skirt ($695). Just be sure to pair either skirt option with a neutral top, like Equipment's Signature Sleeveless Blouse ($188) in Black or White, to further achieve her A+ look.--Jessica Baker