The royal-approved trend of scarf prints continues its reign on our wardrobes - here's how to wear them
The royal-approved trend dominated the catwalks and the high street last year, and is set to continue its reign on our wardrobes, writes Meadhbh McGrath
One of the biggest fashion moments of 2018 saw the Queen joining Anna Wintour on the front row at London Fashion Week, and now it looks as if her sartorial influence could match that of Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle.
Leopard may be the most ubiquitous print of the season, but the scarf print is the savvier choice for stylish women.
For autumn-winter, Richard Quinn drew inspiration from the silk scarves beloved by his royal guest of honour, offering what he called "a tongue-in-cheek take on Balmoral", the Queen's summer residence in Scotland, with handkerchief-hem dresses, leggings, bodysuits and even motorcycle helmets covered in clashing prints.
Elsewhere, Salvatore Ferragamo rendered midi dresses and button-down shirts in heritage scarf prints, paired with leather gloves and knee boots. Rising star Marine Serre showcased patchwork gowns and skirts made of silk scarves, while Versace paired ultra-glamorous, sexed-up printed minis with sheer hose and stilettos.
This looks to be a trend with legs, too: the much-anticipated Burberry debut from new creative director Riccardo Tisci updated the brand's classic macs for spring-summer with scarf-print silk fluttering at the seams, while Chloe went boho with printed separates, dresses and trailing sarong skirts (think Sienna Miller at her Noughties peak).
There were more summer-ready hippie prints at Paco Rabanne, while Tory Burch's breezy layered jackets, trousers and tops are crying out for a holiday in warmer climes.
Which is all to say, you don't need to be fenced in by scarf prints. The look can be cosy and vintage (á la the Queen), it can be classic and minimal, it can be vampy, it can be totally avant-garde and topped off with a leather mask - whatever you want it to be. In terms of prints, there are decadent baroque styles, a Versace staple and one you can find all over the high street, most notably in River Island; there are punchy florals, retro paisleys and equestrian prints inspired by classic Hermes scarves. You can find muted shades and vibrant hues, and sometimes both in the same garment.
This is one trend that translates surprisingly well from runway to real life, even for the typically print-shy. Look to Amanda Seyfried for a foolproof route into the trend - her flashy shirt is instantly neutralised by classic blue denim and simple flats or trainers.
Or take Lupita Nyong'o's lead. Her loud Versace jacket forms the standout piece in an otherwise monochrome ensemble. The scarf print works particularly well thanks to its limited palette of black, white and gold, and the rest of her all-black outfit lets the print shine.
If you're feeling daring, double up with head-to-toe scarf prints. It's the preferred styling trick of the Insta-set, but it's also earned the royal seal of approval from Spain's Queen Letizia. Her Sandro dress blows up the loud prints usually reserved for a small square scarf to fabulous effect, and checks off a couple more trends with its midi hem and accordion pleats.
If you're worried about a loud print overwhelming your figure, try a belted piece like Zara's longline shirt and add pointed boots to define your waist and elongate your legs.
A biker jacket and chunky boots can help to ground a printed co-ord like Ganni's matching top and skirt, and will give your look an edge.
When accessorising, you can play off the pattern with a pair of chain link or floral drop earrings, or use a straw bag or glossy patent leather to offer a point of contrast.