Friday 2 December 2016

Insider Guide: Clashing prints

Sinead Van Kampen

Published 19/03/2010 | 09:15

Whitney Port mixes stripes and check with great results. Photo: Getty Images
Whitney Port mixes stripes and check with great results. Photo: Getty Images

Insider Guide is Independent Woman's fortnightly review of the latest trends on the fashion radar. Our insiders bring you their thoughts on what to wear, how to wear it and where to get it. This week the clashing print trend is up for debate, some love it, some hate it, should you be seen in it ? Our insiders have the answer.

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Corina Gaffey is a stylist and the current fashion editor of Stellar and Kiss Magazine. When she's not styling the fashion pages she can be found on the decks at Dublin's Spy night club.

Initial thoughts?

Intriguing, scary, exciting, clashing prints are about throwing away the fashion rule book - what you thought was wrong is now so right.

The brighter and bolder the patterns the better - this is all about being fashion-forward rather than frumpy. Clashing prints is easy to achieve but difficult to pull off as it's all about confidence.

Will this look suit everybody?

Some trends can be quite challenging for different age groups, clashing prints span the generations perfectly as long as style and proportion rules are adhered too. Plus, it works for all shapes and sizes. If you hate your thighs and bum - wear a bolder print on top to detract away from your lumps and bumps and a subtler print below, or mix two prints on top and keep your bottom half basic.

How should it be worn?

Graphic and animal prints, stripes and florals, spots and stripes, florals and more florals - this season, anything goes when it comes to mixing prints. It’s no easy feat, but clashing prints can look uber-stylish.

It's also an easy way to get more wardrobe mileage by pulling unexpected looks together. If you’re scared, dip your toe in the water by sticking with prints that have more muted tones - like black, navy, grey or tan. This will avoid having too many different colours going on, a look that can be intimidating. If it is all too daunting just let some-one else do the hard work and pick a dress ready to go - easy peasy!

Who's working the trend?

Roisin Murphy, Olivia Palermo, Kristen Stewart, Agyness Deyn, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are all fans of the mash-up of prints.

Which stores/designers are doing the trend well?

Prints in general are all over the catwalks, as is the clashing print craze - Marc by Marc Jacobs, Proenza Scholuer, Josh Goot, Eley Kishimoto, Vivienne Westwood - while on the virtual high-street Asos have some amazing clashing printed dresses. Topshop, River Island and New Look are all in the forefront of this trend as well.

Quick fad or here to stay?

Whether it's clashing colours or prints, the trend for mixing it up and breaking style rules will always be popular - I think it is here to stay.

Darren Kennedy is a TV Presenter and stylist. Alongside regular contributions to RTE's Gerry Ryan Show, Daren also offers a personal styling service through his website helpmystyle.ie.

Initial thoughts?

Fab, fab, fab! Did I mention I love this trend? Bold, bright and beautiful clashing prints for some was considered the ultimate fashion faux pas but I’ve always been a fan. In my book, clashing prints if carried off correctly will always hit the right note.

From a design standpoint digital prints have taken off so it's really exciting to see where this will go, there's lot to come.

Will this look suit everybody?

In theory anyone should be able to do this as unlike many trends it’s not about exposing flesh or parts of the body. Age, shape or size anyone should be able to work this style. One line of caution however, for this to really work it needs to be worn with conviction. It’s about rocking a carefree, effortless sense of style.

How should it be worn?

With bravado. The more over-the-top the better. It shouldn’t look too contrived. It’s not just about the pattern, colour is important as are bold, brash shades. Mix stripes it together and see what works. The body conscious should bear in mind bigger prints create the illusion of looking bigger - so if you think your bum is big, don’t wear a huge print on it!

Who's working the trend?

Roisin Murphy is the Queen of clashing prints and has been doing so for some time. Sarah Jessica Parker, The Olsen’s, Whitney Port and Kristen Stewart are doing their bit.

Which stores/designers are doing the trend well?

Peter Som hits it just right with his ready to wear collection.

Roberto Cavalli, House of Holland, Marni, Miu Miu and Just Cavalli are a few of the fashion-houses that have gone for it. Mary Katrantzou for digital prints.

Is it a quick fad or here to stay?

I reckon it’s here to stay, for a couple of seasons at least. It’s been bubbling away to a lesser extent for a couple of years now and as separates continue in popularity the freedom it offers will remain a hit with consumers.

Roxanne Parker has styled fashion and beauty editorials for Prudence, Irish Tatler, U Magazine, Image, Confetti, The Irish Independent. She is also a regular guest stylist on RTE's The Afternoon Show.

Initial thoughts?

This look has all the ingredients for a migraine in an outfit. Proceed with extreme caution or prepare to look like you've run naked through a department store covered in super glue emerging with a mix of colours and clashing styles on your back that would make even Zandra Rhodes look tame.

Will this look suit everybody?

No, it's extremely difficult to pull off this look. Unless you are fashion fearless, an exhibitionist and very body confident I would dodge this look like a fashion bullet!

How should it be worn?

In my humble opinion it shouldn't. Even super models like Lily Cole looked larger than usual in Alexander McQueen's un-flattering cyber-reptilian prints, although clashing prints in black and white are less of an eye sore.

It will work for some, so try a print dress with a mis-mash of jewellery. A colour-block dress worn with clashing shoes is also a good take or try something out of the ordinary such as an emerald green dress and coral shoes. We saw this at Lanvin and it looks great.

If your entry point is a bit more subdued have a look for the coloured jersey obi belt from American Apparel and team with a printed dress, it should look funky without making you look like a complete and utter fashion victim.

I think the most tastefully way to wear this trend is by mixing nautical prints with ditsy floral patterns. A Breton stripped top worn with a flippy floral mini or shorts is a pretty take on clashing prints.

Who's working the trend?

Kirsten Steward looked good in Proenza Schouler, while Pixie Geldof looked school girl cute wearing BFF Henry Holland's new range for Debenhams' H! by Henry Holland.

Which stores/designers are doing the trend well?

Proenza Schouler with their surf inspired silk knit sweater in yellow, blue and black worn with a clashing feather-look skirt. The sporty silhouette made it seem fresh, interesting and youthful. Gucci's tribal prints mixed with sports inspired black mesh panels were interesting too.

H&M have some really pretty floral prints coming in this month which will contrast with stripes or animal prints. River Island have some interesting tribal inspired prints in store too.

Is it a quick fad or here to stay?

This is definitely a fashion flash in the pan. Gimmicky, faddish, ugly and strewn with room for error. Looking forward to A/W 010' all the major designers are going back to basics with beautifully cut lady-like classics. The kind of clothes that will last for years and work in harmony as opposed to screaming at each other.

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