Wear your art this spring by choosing graphic and painterly prints to create statement pieces. Fashion Editor Stephanie Smith has tips on how to pull it off.
Question: When is a print too bold, too bright, just too darned wild to wear?
Answer: Never, never, never – as long as you know how to work it for maximum impact without compromising your style or yourself (which basically means you wear the print, and not the other way around).
Bold, statement print is the new season’s most impactful look, and it’s suitable for all times of day, place and occasion. Any time, any place, anywhere you want to go.
“I just love interesting prints and always look for a way to bring them into everyday fashion,” says Yorkshire designer Jillian Welch, whose shop, design and dressmaking studio is in Harrogate. For this season, she has coats, jackets, dresses and separates in a gallery of wild prints including ones featuring cars, arty magazine covers and leopard print (featuring beautiful leopard faces, not just the print itself).
She adds: “Sometimes, they are a bit out there, but often I am surprised how well they lend themselves to the female form. A lot of the coats and jackets I make end up being the main event – really useful for people who prefer to live in trousers, but want to make a statement.”
And therein lies one of the major secrets behind making bold print work. Take one key piece in an utterly unignorable print – a jacket, coat, shirt, skirt or a pair of trousers – and build the rest of your look around it with sleek but restrained pieces in white, black, nude or a more muted shade picked out from the print itself.
For a look even more difficult to ignore, try picking out a bold shade from the print to match (try near-match, too – it can look really interesting) via your other separates and accessories. So, a multi-colour printed satin frock coat, which includes red in the print, teamed with red capri trousers, shoes, bag and maybe hat is always going to turn heads in a crowd, say, at the races or a wedding.
Which are the prints to know about for spring/summer 2018 and beyond? Well, there are wide stripes to mix in all directions and shades, there are oversize polka dots, clashing checks and a paradise of florals, but today we’re talking artist-inspired.
There’s an eclectic modern art theme, featuring graphic prints with a distinctive Cubist, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist influence. Think of Mondrian’s primary colour blocks, Pollock’s paint splashes and Picasso’s energetic black lines, creating form and meaning out of chaos.
Look for shades of bright blue, bright red, varying shades of green and pink, cobalt and lots of yellow, often played out against a backdrop of white and/or with unifying block, splodges or lines of black, including scribble prints for an urban graphic element (perfect for athleisure).
For a calmer, less streetwise but no less striking appeal, there are painterly blurred watercolour washes – ideal for creating mesmerising midi and maxi dresses, and oversized scarves.
Tropical florals continue for the summer, this year refreshed with a native edge, so naive bright flowers and leaves against white, while there’s also a luxe metallic treatment. Havana is a major influence for high summer, featuring fruits, palms, animal prints and exotic blooms.
*The University of Leeds School of Design is looking for men and women to model at its BA Fashion Design catwalk show on June 14 in Leeds. Drop in at one of the casting sessions in Clothworkers Central Building on April 18, 25 and May 2 at 4pm. Female models should be 5ft 8in and above, size 8-12, males should be 5ft 10in and above, chest 38-42, waist 32-34. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Jillian Welch is at Westmoreland Street in Harrogate and here: http://www.jillianwelch.co.uk/
* There’s more fashion and beauty ideas and tips here: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion and here: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion and you can find and share fashion & beauty news and events here: https://www.facebook.com/YorkshireFashion/