The Fashion Statement: Everything That's Fit to Print
Sadly, the only media going to print in big numbers this fall is fashion.
Patchwork, zebra, leopard, floral, tweeds, plaids, psychedelic and Deco graphics, watercolors and paint-splattered fabrics all made a huge statement on the runways. Fait attention! This is the season to forget every rule you've learned about wearing prints. It's time to go Wild and Crazy Guys, not head-to-toe Pucci.
In other words, designers made an eye-popping show of mixing and matching multiple prints on one look. Much like Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin's comedic get-ups on Saturday Night Live back in the late '70s, floral prints were shown with plaids. But then we saw tweeds hooking up with cougars (there must be a joke in there somewhere), leopards pairing up with stripes and stripes in primary colors working well with rich paisleys.
The Mulleavy sisters, designers of Rodarte, are perfect examples of the newest generation of print maestros. Their California-based label had catwalk models in big-cat prints, metallic and watercolor-like fabrics all pieced together on ethereal cocktail dresses (pictured above).
Gallery: The Fashion Statement 08/13/09
Temperley London saw its ideal woman in a country red flower motif with cheetah-inspired wide belts and tall, Fez hats. New York-based Peter Som coupled a bright-but-blurred print shift with a tiger-stenciled mink coat. And Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton played stripes off of exotic paisleys in reds and burgundies on ballerina silhouettes.
It appears there's no secret to dressing in multiple prints. And, as far as the fashion flock is concerned, if it looks good to you, it's very likely to look good to someone else.
Celebrity stylist Tod Hallman, for one, sees beauty in print chaos. "I always like when opposing prints are mixed because I just think it's really interesting," he told me this week. "Anyone can go out and buy a complete look in one print. But it brings you more personality and style when you mix and match. When you mix an animal print with a check or a plaid, you get that beautiful dynamic and visual that makes for a well-dressed woman. It gives an outfit some depth. It's almost like a beautiful painting."
I suppose there might be such a thing as piling on too many prints. But, this season, let it all hang out.