When seasonal fashion weeks come to end, we start diving into the most stylish solutions of the leading fashion designers just to breathe freely again that there will not be any lack of come-hither looks. The upcoming fall/winter seasons have much to offer starting from enlivening colors and creative cutouts to eclectic prints that have appeared show after show.
Update: Check out the new Spring/ Summer 2017 Print Trends!
Whether you are a true-blue follower of animal prints or your mathematically inclined mind requires a deluge of geometrical prints, while your romantic essence just goes bananas over florets, the fall/ winter 2016-2017 print trends have them all in spades. Having been rummaging through the recent fashion shows we are smoothly passing from the fall 2016 color trends to the main prints and patterns of the season that have caught our attention and are definitely worth being discussed with vim and vigor.
1. Stripes Are Never Out!
The existence of stripes in fashion is just indisputable whether it is warm or cold seasons and they appear not only on garments, but also on handbags, shoes and other accessories. The fall 2016 collections yet again do not fail in bringing stripes of all different styles; vertical or horizontal, diagonal or broken, broad or classic pinstripes thus forming one of the grandest fall 2016 print trends in fashion.
However, vertical stripes seem to take more space this time with Alexis Mabille leading the pack, presenting a bevy of black vertical stripes on the background of blue and red pieces and pinstripes in orange shade. The next stands Acne Studios with its glam-rock stripes on golden pieces, but when we pass to Balmain veering to the stripe royalty just cannot be helped.
At Max Mara stripes are horizontal and board, at times with a leather finish, at times shimmering with some cabaret-worthy effects but also appearing on iridescent knitted pieces, while at Etro tiny horizontal stripes are to flatter those overlong scarves. And if you are still in some hesitation about stripes channeling disparate themes and emotions, look to Tommy Hilfiger’s nautical stripes screaming cruise holidays and to those psychedelic ones spotted at Giambattista Valli.
2. Plaids and Checked Patterns Galore
Take it as granted to see all kinds of plaids and checked patterns whenever fall/winter fashion weeks kick-start, whether in vibrant or muted shades. They are able to work magic when it is to work out a serious businesswoman visage and equally functional when a laid-back playful image is on the agenda. Plaids and checks have never been so exuberant as throughout the fall/winter 2016-2017 fashion weeks both in terms of colors and sizes.
At Barbara Bui the plaid festival is all painted vibrant red appearing on some form-fitting pantsuits with some nomadic vibes to them with sleeves rolled up in a cool manner, while at Burberry it is those loose-fitting wool coats that have plaids happily lodged in all muted shades possible. At Chanel observing plenty of checks and plaids on tweed skirt suits at times with tattered endings is matter-of-course and this time around Karl Lagerfeld took on to aggrandize their position on pork pie hats and knee-high boots as well.
At Ralph Lauren plaids are wrapped with strait-laced accents, at Vetements taking slovenly underground steer on the semi-tucked shirts, while at Victoria Beckham everything is more than relaxed with a bevy of double-breasted coats and tattered strapless dresses to best channel Posh Spice’s self-reliant essence.
3. Prince of Wales Check
Turn a blind eye at the fact that Prince of Wales check or glen plaid (call it as you want) has its roots laid in mannish outfits and dare to blur all boundaries especially as many a designer is now commanding to seize this classic opportunity. This elegant, classic and noble check type so widely used among kings, princes and presidents both in the past and today is to embrace our female bodies soon in the future thereby forming another big fall/ winter 2016 print trend.
Georgian underground designer Demnia Gvasalia surely keeps Prince of Wales check under his thumb dreaming up off-the-wall blazes and dresses with cocoon shapes for the iconic Balenciaga, while for Vetements his bizarre predilections find their embodiment on center-pleated pants and blazers with oversized shoulders all of them playing within grey-brown spectrum. Isabel Marant and Miuccia Prada take glen plaid to a more adventuresome and wayfaring level, the former materializing this pattern on some oversized coats and on a mini dress with drapes, while the latter teaming cozy outerwear with wide corset belts and cool gloves.
At Sonia Rykiel we see chocolate brown and burgundy glen plaids on some slouchy pants but those cropped blazers with fur collars are definitely head and shoulders above. And if you are after glen plaid sophistication, Carolina Herrera is able to best fill the bill via those elegant flaring dresses with plunging necklines.
4. Flirtatious Polka Dots
If you know every trick in the book about female allure and come-hither looks, then you are surely up on the fact that the polka dots flatter any look in a New York minute whether they are tiny or gargantuan, spread all over sparsely or densely. We see the leading fashion designers afresh falling for polka dots during the fall/winter 2016 fashion shows and infecting us with this addiction once more.
Even if Hedi Slimane is to part ways with Saint Laurent according to some rumors, his fall/winter 2016 collection inspired by the haute couture of the ‘80s is surely to sponge in our memories for a long time yet with those sharp strapless tailoring, puffed skirts, glitters and, of course, those lovely polka dots spotted on a couple of red and black skirts. At Elie Saab, iridescent tiny polka dots are spread all over navy blue evening dresses, while at Marc Jacobs black and white classic polka dots are taking a small chapter of the intimidating gothic show appearing on elongated silhouettes.
At Edun polka dots take the shapes of many buttons, both realistic and printed, decorating a couple of blue silk pieces, but it is definitely MSGM and House of Holland that have been going to all marbles and presenting thongs of polka dots in different shapes. Go and get the largest polka dots at MSGM on those massive puffed coats or else make a beeline for Naeem Khan to find a maxi silk frock sporting gigantic black dots located in vertical alternation.
5. Floral Paradise
Floral prints mixed with other botanical motifs are to be deemed as the most common print type year in year out. This year is no different with oceans of flowers embracing nigh every fall 2016 collection. With Dolce & Gabbana, realistic floral fields are common to observe this time around also jibing with a fairy tale theme; at Blumarine and MSGM flowers keep on staying within vibrancy, but when we pass to Etro and Alberta Ferretti floral canvases instantly become muted and earthy-toned.
At Monique Lhuillier and Alexander McQueen we catch some floral bunches squirted here and there, while at Miu Miu itty-bitty flowers are spread all over in an extremely dense scheme. Metallic flowers spotted at Suno and Etro are also delicious tidbits to feast eyes on, but when they buckle down to embellish diaphanous illusion dresses at Alexander McQueen and Temperley we are truly thrown for a loop. Just in case your floral appetite is not yet wetted and you want them everywhere, Anna Sui’s floral tights or Balenciaga’s floral knee-high boots will be up your street, for sure.
6. Animal Skin Patterns
If there is one print type reading luxury and hedonism from soup to nuts, it is definitely animal skin prints running the gamut at the fall/winter 2016 runway shows. Leopards, tigers, zebras and reptiles have lent their extravagant skins to many a fashion designer or at least the pattern ideas to non-animal-policy-followers and today we have another awe-inspiring print trend that is genuinely accordant with cold and windy days.
Leopards and cheetahs were playing hardballs appearing at Dries Van Noten, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Topshop Unique, Isabel Marant, Acne Studios, just to name a few. At Dries Van Noten, a range of slouchy pants was delivered inter alia matched either with blazers or sportive bomber jackets; at Dolce & Gabbana we spotted a midi dress covered with leopard prints with some kittens discerned in between and many outerwear samples at times with furry collars at Givenchy.
The models at Roberto Cavalli with some living-high-on-the-hog twist to them were sporting many splendid numbers with prints borrowed from ferocious tigers, among them a glittering cutout dress spinning our heads truly, while at Christian Siriano a zebra has apparently passed by printing its lovely black-white skin pattern on a flaring full skirt + blazer combo. And in case the animal skin predilections of yours are angled at reptile prints, head to Burberry for some green or blue trench coats or else to H&M to see vibrant red reptile skin, blowing away the cobwebs so effectively.
7. Lovey-Dovey Stars, Hearts and Butterflies
Flicking through all the runway shows of late, we are running into the cutest fall/ winter 2016-2017 print trends evoking all those happy-go-lucky feelings within us. Lovey-dovey stars, hearts and butterflies have also made their way through fall 2016 runway shows many a time and oft with Alexander McQueen offering up apparently the liveliest scenery throughout – splendid maxi dresses and black wool or leather coats sheltering a plethora of flittering-fluttering butterflies mixed with other objects.
This lovely butterfly scene then smoothly passes from Alexander McQueen to Zuhair Murad, where silk and suede minis, full skirts and leggings all decorated with iridescent butterflies come to view. We see hearts and stars at Mary Katrantzou appearing on a slew of pieces densely in apple-pie order but also taking the form of a very large butterfly as the bib design of a pleated tulle dress, while at Anna Sui stars and hearts are garnered in one place.
But hearts are sometimes far cry from being lovey-dovey like in case of some prickly ones at Vetements on leather thigh-high boots all surrounded with pistols, swords and Love, Hate words in the center.
8. Contemporary Pop Art Prints
Are you geared up to feast eyes on some unique numbers with the most unexpected object on them? We have extravagant Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana duo to vine and dine us with objects extracted from fairy tales, like mice, mirrors, watches, spruced-up ladies, cups, chandeliers and so on and so forth. With Alexander Wang you will be transferred to a striptease bar, while Au Jour Le Jour is inviting you to a cocktail party.
We see many prints of sensual lips and lipsticks at Alexander McQueen and intriguing smoking lips at Moschino and Just Cavalli. We see many nautical objects like ships, anchors, wheels, lighthouses and all that jazz at Tommy Hilfiger’s marine runway show and chaotically spread retro cars on midi dresses and jumpsuits at Veronique Leroy. But the prize for the most bizarre pop-art interpreter goes to Ashley Williams for sure thanks to those Taser prints all over the map.
9. Let’s Play Geometry Wars
All those geometric figures and shapes are the best warrants to channel futuristic atmosphere and when it comes to fall 2016 trendy prints and patterns, the ruling fashion designers seem to have been given green light to do anything their creative minds contrive to do with triangular figures, diamonds, quadrates, pentagonal shapes, rounds, ovals, zigzags and goodness knows what else. A geometry rain surely poured down on Emporio Armani “New Pop” runway show. The takeaway is just amazing – vibrant geometry shapes lighting the runway and flocks of iridescent figures jazzing up elegant garment pieces.
At Isabel Marant and Prada diamond prints are calling the tune aligned vertically or horizontally to shape lovely argyle patterns either on knitted sweaters or eccentric tights at Prada. We literally get a kick out of those mouth-watering frocks at Naeem Khan with all the existing geometry shapes mixed with each other all over the map and we want to endlessly feast eyes on those tiny triangular and round shapes at Valentino, while at Salvatore Ferragamo it is all about vibrant broad zigzags to lead the pack. Geometry shapes are delivered in droves at Stella Jean and Emilio Pucci as well.
10. Psychedelic Prints and Optical Illusions
Concentric circles, spirals, paisleys, metaphysical and surrealistic images, pulsating designs and patterns painted in the most vibrant colors possible make the next fall 2016 print trends, ready to throw anyone into a psychedelic trance. We have the Anna Sui collection at our disposal all impregnated with flaming psychedelic prints with some hallucinogenic images and abstract flowers mixed together and we have Custo Barcelona riding high with those pulsating circles and diamonds on some skirts and dresses.
At Versace rocky psychedelic images are brought into life on a range of Airy Blue pieces; at Marni we get an eyeful of those fish-scale-order colorful prints, chaotic lines, blurred botanical motifs and unknown images resembling chemical compounds, while the repeated motifs on Chanel tweed pieces are really contradicted to look at for more than a minute. But if you need some psychological therapy, head to Givenchy to become detached from reality.
11. Pieces of Art: Portraits and Sceneries
When a fashion designer meets an artist, the takeaway is just awe-inspiring much as it occurred at fall 2016 fashion shows recently. This is far the most eloquent print trend for fall 2016 we are so impatient to embrace soon in the future. Need the name of the leader in this trend? It is definitely Prada with its vagabonding skirts and outerwear pieces emblazoned with Christophe Chemin’s still-life paintings, illustrations of deserts and a sensual kiss under night sky.
Some tops and sweatshirts at Opening Ceremony switch on their screens to show Syd Mead’s futuristic illustrations, while at Topshop Unique everything is more than sophisticated – velvet and sequined dresses displaying amazing nature sceneries from A Winter’s Tale. The Paris Fashion Week brings to our pleasure those surrealistic portraits by Matthieu Bourel materialized at the Undercover runway show, while the fall 2016 show of House of Holland, devoted to two of the greatest party decades – the Seventies and the Twenties, renders out the portraits of Cher, Liza Minnelli, and Debbie Harry.
12. Animal Planet
The recent fall/ winter 2016-2017 print trends have left us wandering for a long time among many animals, whether terrestrial, air or nautical, some of them evoking namby-pamby feeling within us, while others scaring us to bits. Kittens and cats come to embrace many fall collections. Start from Dolce & Gabbana’s fluffy playful kittens and end with those black sinister cats at Marc Jacobs and Alexis Mabille.
Gucci is entering a symbiosis of fish, funny parrots, roaring panthers and fraudulent snakes. Paco Rabanne scares the bejesus out us through those roaring tigers and a dragon peeping through sprout branches, while at Stella McCartney elegance spread out instantly through multiple swans.
13. Print Blocking on the Go!
The last fall/ winter 2016 print trend on our list that has been spotted by leaps and bounds in all the four fashion cities is surely print blocking that gives considerable verve albeit spreading chaos around and begetting optical illusions. We give the prize for the best print blocking experience to Altuzarra. The idiosyncratic designer pulled off to bring together stripes and flowers in one number, paisleys and two different floral canvases in another number and geometric shapes and paisleys in the third one.
Let us now pass to Christian Dior and revel in those densely aligned floral print blocking either in blue-red combination or in a blue-red-purple solution or to Balenciaga to see myriads of flowers gathered from different fields and pulled together in one look so triumphantly.
14. Houndstooth Patterns
Appearing on coats, dresses, jackets and sometimes even bags and shoes, houndstooth patterns also make their way onto the biggest fall/ winter 2016-2017 print trends list. They look especially cool in winter, so no wonder many a designer capitalized on this pattern for fall. Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors and Salvatore Ferragamo are just few of the houses that show their love for houndstooth patterns in their fall creations.
Photos courtesy of Vogue