Photo:Jil Sander; Christopher John Rogers; Vaquera
No shade to our beloved neutrals, but prints are all we can think about lately. Sometimes, you simply want to blend in and keep it subtle, but it's okay to be the center of attention once in a while. The preferred way among insiders to stand out right now? Grabbing one of the striking prints that have been flittering through the fashion spheres this season.
Much to our surprise, this season's runways didn't include the typical lineup of prints we're used to seeing. Instead, it was a grab bag of patterns and graphics, from the extreme—see fanciful logos and zebra—to more subdued takes. All in all, everything felt amped up in a way that is fresh and exciting to the eyes. There's a lot of ground to cover, so sit back and enjoy as we run through the major print trends you can expect to pop up everywhere this winter.
Photo:Michael Kors, Kwaidan Editions; Bottega Veneta
There's something about the fall and winter that makes designers and tastemakers alike want to curl up in a ball of animal print. This season, zebra prints dominated the runway circuit, appearing at Bottega Veneta and Michael Kors, so you can be sure it's one trend that will trickle down to affordable brands in full force sooner than later.
Photo:Vivienne Westwood; Ottolinger
We first took note of this emerging trend earlier this summer, and by the looks of it, interest has only ramped up ahead of winter. It's the kind of pattern that's bound to be included in a starter pack for the cool segment of fashion people, the sort who gravitate toward unconventional trends and underground indie labels. Ottolinger's printed tights continually sell out, but no matter the artscape piece you choose, you're guaranteed to be the exhibit.
Photo:Balenciaga; Christopher John Rogers
We love a classic print, and polka dot certainly fits the bill. Likely the most familiar of this grouping, polka dots have made a comeback in Balenciaga's and Christopher John Rogers's collections this season. For a different spin, try this print in a vibrant colorway like black and pink or rainbow.
Groovy Geometric Prints
Photo:Jil Sander; Saint Laurent; Versace
Retro floral prints à la Emilio Pucci were all the rage this summer, so it's only right that the next phase of throwback prints includes an ode to the groovy era. This time, it involves geometric prints of epic proportions—tiny polygons or quadrilaterals in busy, concise arrangements. Basically, your eyes can't help but divert to this flamboyant pattern. These kinds of prints were spotted at Saint Laurent and Versace, but brands like Zara and Mango are doing it too.
Photo:Cecile Bahnsen; ACNE Studios; Ioannes
You can expect to see a floral print of some sort in the mix, and for winter, that honor belongs to grandma florals. If you're not sure about what makes this unique, just look at ACNE Studios' full-length coat, which unfortunately is pretty much sold out everywhere. Think of tiny floral designs in arrangments you're likely to see on the walls of your grandma's house. In theory, it sounds questionable, but in practice, it's actually quite cool and fun.
You knew this was coming. Ever since Gucci and Balenciaga cross-pollinated in a visual feast of a presentation earlier this year, we've noticed a renewed interest in logo pieces IRL. Now that the collection has finally dropped in stores, don't be surprised when you see it (or Chanel's '80-inspired logo pieces) littered throughout your feed. If you enjoy the kitschy side of style, this might be a fun one to add to your closet.
Photo:Vaquera; Prada; Thebe Magugu
Rounding out the top graphics we're noticing in numbers is a miscellaneous category of black-and-white abstract prints. They range from distorted gingham to squiggly prints, but each underscores the use of black and white. Prada, Vaquera, and Thebe Magugu have used some form of the pattern in their winter offerings, and we're excited to see how it's interpreted on the streets.