Tuesday, May 04, 2010

print on print

one of the big trends for spring/summer 2010 is prints. what's new about it is not the type of print, but how to style them—that is, wearing different prints together. it's all about mixing and not matching, baby! style.com says, "when it comes to prints, more is definitely more this season. if designers like dries van noten and donatella versace have their way, you'll be mixing and matching from head to toe. and we're not just talking traditional florals, though there were plenty of pretty ones at etro, anna sui, and tory burch. duro olowu's tribal motifs and givenchy's digital designs were engineered for maximum impact." ooh those are all our favorite designers when it comes to prints! (above, left to right: dries van noten, duro olowu, marc by marc jacobs.) nytimes.com came out with this article a couple weeks ago (see below) and even encouraged readers to send in photos of their attempts at mixing prints. (the fash pack is a big fan of mixing prints! should we send a photo of OUR version??). they also published a list of guidelines on how to mix prints. (but toss it out the window and just go wild! trial-and-error is the way to do it.)

By Ruth La Ferla
Published: April 14, 2010

FASHION, they say, is an index of change, registering shifts in confidence and mood too subtle to glean from the rise and the fall of the Dow. No need to tell Natasha Jen, who tarried on Mott Street one weekend earlier this month taking in the parade of women showing off their latest buys: effusively colorful skirts and frocks in jungly hues and covered in pansies, cheetah markings and tribal geometrics that evoked Ivory Coast.

Watching the panoply unfold, Ms. Jen, a graphic designer, felt a rush. “There’s a kind of vibrancy in all of this,” she said. “I see it as a signal of recovery.”

Wishful thinking? Maybe so. Yet Ms. Jen has a point.

The profusion of hothouse colors and patterns popping up on New York streets this month suggests a new buoyancy, as women shake off the constraints of a lingering recession and stock up on fashions more lively and vivid than they’ve seen in years.

“People are sick of not shopping,” said Beth Buccini, an owner of Kirna Zabête, a SoHo outpost of vanguard design, where splashy florals and abstract designs are providing a bracing antidote to months of self-imposed sobriety. Ms. Buccini credited the renewed appeal of color and pattern with driving up store sales in the last three months by 12 percent over the same period a year ago, as customers gravitated to animated prints from Jason Wu and Thakoon and even a $350 Proenza Schouler T-shirt with a tie-dye motif. “After such a miserable winter, and an even more miserable economy,” she said, “people want a little joy in their lives.”

The antithesis of recession-appropriate sackcloth and ashes, prints exert a strong emotional pull. “They represent the mind-set of the consumer,” said Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. “They express a budding feeling that’s more optimistic and refreshed.”

And audacious, it would seem. At Barneys New York, deep-pocketed shoppers have been drawn to the exotic African- and Asian-influenced patterns of Dries Van Noten and Duro Olowu. “Prints make you feel alive,” said Julie Gilhart, the store’s fashion director. “They give you a bonk.”

At Neiman Marcus, ikat designs from Gucci as well as tiger and python prints are the lure. Their novelty excites women, said Ken Downing, the fashion director at Neiman. “These are things they don’t yet own.”

A hunger for freshness could account for the lines that snaked along the Avenue of the Americas last month, the draw being a spacious pop-up store housing kaleidoscopic Liberty of London prints as interpreted by Target. Pouncing on girlish dresses, crisp men’s shirts, toddler fashions and even bicycles and garden tools all covered in Liberty’s signature florals, shoppers picked the store clean, forcing Target, which had been scheduled to keep the pop-up open for four days, to shutter in only two days.

The store had stocked twice as much merchandise as it typically does for a pop-up store. “We thought we were being aggressive,” said Michael Alexin, a Target vice president for product design and development, “but I guess we weren’t being aggressive enough.”

Crowds have also been swarming fast-fashion chains like H & M and Topshop, each awash in pattern. At Ann Taylor Loft on 42nd Street and Broadway, Lauri Cohen, a health care worker, showed off her latest find, a fragile cotton blouse covered in pink and green buds. “I’m buying all the prints and stripes I can,” Ms. Cohen said. “I’ve been in black long enough.”

Tyler Elizabeth Lewis, a handbag designer, strolled in NoLIta the other day wrapped in a coral-and-yellow paisley topper she had accessorized with a pale striped envelope bag and crocheted gloves. “Prints are unique,” Ms. Lewis said. “Their appeal is so personal that when you find one that speaks to you, you know you have to have it.”

Such bursts of zeal have given a tentative boost to a sagging apparel industry. Retail sales figures released last week showed the strongest monthly gains in a decade, with department stores reporting an average increase of 11.8 percent. “There is an enormous amount of pent-up demand,” Bernard Baumohl, the chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group said in a recent interview with The New York Times, “and now it is being unleashed.”

Marshal Cohen, the chief analyst for the market research firm NPD Group, even interprets the resurgence of multihued designs as an indicator of recovery. “Among the first things to be successful coming out of a recession are lively colors and patterns,” he said.

Consumption, of course, is not expected to rise to the levels of 2006, when apparel sales rose on average by 6 percent. “There is a temperance out there,” said Candace Corlett, a partner in WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting firm in New York. “People aren’t going back to spending as frivolously and compulsively as they once did.”

There is a passion nonetheless, Ms. Corlett noted, “to have more, to move beyond the deprivation stage we’ve been in.”

Kaitrin Cooper, an interior designer, was certainly feeling the fervor. “Oh, my gosh, I’m transported,” she said, gazing covetously at a Dries Van Noten jacket at Barneys recently. “I’m loving color and bold prints. Persimmon and chartreuse have replaced the seriously gray phase that I went through last year.

“They make fashion feel fun again, like it’s O.K. to care about it.”

By Anita Leclerc
Published: April 14, 2010

TAKING in the parade of patterns at the spring fashion shows was like watching seven rival marching bands converge at a four-way intersection — talk about your clash of symbols. A gal could get carried away by the devil-take-the-hindmost attitude. Does anything and everything go? Can you really wear polka dots with paisley? Can an exotic ikat waltz with a chintzy floral? Will you look like the belle of the ball — or on your way to Bellevue?

Herewith, some guidelines. Not rules, just suggestions worth a try. And as soon you can remember them all, they can be forgotten.

1. Vary the scale. Mix a small neat print with a splashier one. Or an eye-popper with one that’s more neutral.

2. Stay within the same color family.

3. Mix up the fabrics, the weights — a rough-textured fabric with a more refined one. Somehow a nubby, slubby fabric pairs up more naturally with a flat weave than do two smooth-textured fabrics.

4. Toss in some polka dots, stripes or even leopard prints, which are easier to mix with other patterns because they’re simple and graphic. And they’re familiar to the eye.

5. Consider the accessories. Though it’s fun to tote a print bag with a print frock, you can tone down the brights with a great tan leather bag or pair of sandals. Straw works, too.

and if this is all too much for you and your eyes, start in small doses. bags are a good place to start and lesportsac has some super-cute styles for spring/summer. we love printed totes!

reverie print deluxe every girl tote:
vaudeville print deluxe every girl tote:
jitterbug embroidery small every girl tote:
PS: is the lilly pulitzer collection already available here?? more prints!! love!!

lesportsac is available at rustan's makati and rustan's tower, shangri-la plaza

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