Friday, March 23, 2012

Patterns Everywhere

The Wall Street Journal had a great article on avian prints

A hot trend for spring is patterns. I’ve seen them everywhere and some of the patterns are really cool and some are just weird. Now I’m not talking a little bit of a pattern thrown in on a scarf or maybe a shirt, I’m talking head to toe pattern. These patterns can encompass anything from florals, to geometrics to ikat and beyond. There are even avian patterns whereby the silhouette of a bird is part of the pattern and/or a jumbo bird of prey is emblazed upon a shirt. Now don’t get me wrong but didn’t a lot of bikers go for the large bird of prey across a t-shirt look? Kind of reminds me of the wolf t-shirts of yore.

 Loving the dress on the left

While some of the patterns are subtle, image light green bird silhouettes with wings out stretched on an ivory background. The silhouettes are so subtle they almost resemble leaves blowing in the wind. Now image this pattern on a simple dress, long and sleek with no ruffles, bows or belts. This is an elegant example of the use of avian patterns in a garment. The dress is accessorized with several chunky wooden bracelets on the wrist, simple and naturalistic. No large earrings or a statement necklace, the emphasis is on the hands. The designer also kept things simple with leather and cork or rope wedge sandals. I love how this looks and am considering finding a dress with these eye-catching but elegant lines.

 Not so sure about this color blocked lace look

On the other hand, image busy pattern with many colors on a black background. The garment is either a jumpsuit or blouse with matching trousers. It’s hard to tell when the pattern begins on the shirt and runs all the way down the body. Or better yet, color blocking on lace. This head to toe outfit features colored lace on a black background with the shirt colored baby blue and the pants color blocked with yellow on the hips and rose further down. Add in a pair of colorful and patterned sandal to these ensembles, such as snake skin in black and red and you have quite an outfit and I don’t mean that in a good way.

 These prints look much more subtle from a distance, a long distance

Part of the reason that many loud and bold patterns work on the runway is because the model are able to wear the garments with panache. They are super slim and can walk tall with confidence. Something the average woman may have trouble with especially if she is wearing a bold pattern that she might not be sure how it will be received. Let’s face it, while something may look outstanding on the runway, it doesn’t necessarily translate into everyday life. This is where knowing your own style is so important. Since I like things simple, I go for a pattern that’s clean and elegant. I’m not trying to make a statement; rather I’m trying to blend. You want people to notice how fabulous you look not the bravado of your dress. So while patterns are awesome and the latest trend for spring, never forget your personal style, it’s how you make a garment your own.

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