Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer 2010 Trends: How to Mix Prints

Every since the Spring 2010 collections sauntered down the runway last year, I've been resolving to mix prints. Dries Von Noten, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Peter Som - all gave me permission.  They proved artful mixing and matching reads fresh, chic and, most of all, FUN! 

And yet I've hesitated. I've doubted myself. I've been a fashion chicken shit.

 Mixing prints admittedly has a high degree of difficulty.  Even in the expert hands of fashion black belts, it can read clownish.  See Carrie Bradshaw. Or Punky Brewster.

So I've eased in. I've begun mixing tops and bottoms in the same color pallette and then pairing them with neutral accessories.

I've worked my way up to contrasting but complimentary colors,  kept the prints pretty safe: stripes, florals, polka dots, leopard.

And frankly I am LOVING the effect. It makes a statement and is anything but boring.  And those are pretty much my top two criteria when getting dressed. 

Who wants to blend in when you can stand out?  Who wants to play it safe when you can take a risk?  Life can feel like a big boring routine - why dress for it?

If you're ready to take the plunge, keep a few things in mind:

Think complimentary not clashing color palettes. 
When in doubt, anchor the look around one color.
If you want to ease in: try a striped top and an animal print accessory.
100 percent guaranteed way to get the effect right. 

Also keep your makeup and hair simple.
If you look too done, the mixed prints can read over-the-top Bozo. 

For more inspiration, check out Glamourai. She's been KILLING the trend this summer.  Love love love.

You can also take some inspiration in all the Miu Miu Spring looks.  They validate my complimentary contrast theory. And I swear once you acclimate your eye, it'll be easier to see how things work together that you never thought of pairing in the past.

But please don't do the leopard on leopard thing.  It's MY new favorite thing in the world!!! I plan to rock it constantly from now on. Olivia be damned.

p.s. Amazeball fashion story: The red and white top I'm wearing above with the striped H&M skirt is 12 years old!!!!!! I know, totally bananas! I bought it for less than $20 at a magical store next to USC called Elegance...that was anything but elegant (can I get an amen, Trojan readers?) 

It's one of the few college purchases that has survived into my 30s.  It is after all a knock off of a Prada print.  Plus it reminds me of some of the best years of my life.  Love.

And whenever I wear it I also think back to this iconic Sex and the City look.  Talk about mixed prints done right!!! God I miss the thirtysomething, Manolo-loving, single, weekly-column-writing Carrie.  


Shannon said...

D, I too am a fashion chicken shit when it comes to mixing prints. This post may have inspired me to stop being skurrred. Thanks as always for your P.O.V., you're rocking the shit out of those outfits! Especially the side braid/leopard heel/puffy striped sleeve outfit. I DIE.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Even Michelle Obama is mixing prints this summer. :)

InnyVinny said...

I miss that Carrie too!

And I would do this a lot more if I had more prints. My closet is one full-o-solids mess!

Anonymous said...

I really do you need to learn how to do this better. You have mastered the contrasting patterns.

Jean Bean said...

I am wild for the concept but the patterned separates I have just don't work together.


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