There was a time when wearing more than one print at a time was seen as a fashion faux-pas. Thankfully, those days are long gone, and we can now exploit the potential to stun, by mixing patterns with imagination and flair. Anything goes, and why not?
Designers like Alice Temperley actually embraced this idea a few seasons ago, and it was seized upon as eagerly as a Kate Moss collection would be. It became a street style favourite immediately, because it allowed wearers to be audacious.
No-one wants to ditch this new-found freedom, so naturally, it’s stayed the course. For Autumn/Winter 2014, Burberry sent models down the runway in florals, ethnic and animal – that’s all on one model, by the way – while Paul Smith dispatched them in mixed-print pyjamas.
Monochrome is a natural for this trend, bringing together tiny polka dots and thick stripes, large spots and pinstripes, or variations on houndstooth, sometimes with the addition of blocks, squares or circles. Mix pattern sizes, and add strong shades to break it up. Accessorise with chunky jewellery in gold or plastic, and paint your lips boldly. For a change, employ pastel to soften the harshness of black and white.
Moving on to colour, top a spotted skirt with a touch of the tropics, blousy blossoms, or petite flowers. Team any of them with animal prints, and offset with plain pieces, such as a t-shirt or crop top. Let red roses bloom on wide black stripes, or sweet peas on trellis-like plaid. Splash exotic oriental patterns across intricate paisley. Embrace the ethnic look, or several of them. You have the world to choose from, so it seems a shame not to play with two or three examples.
Substitute colour for monochrome, but use the same designs, perhaps with a black or white background. Travel back to the sixties with bright shapes, multi-hued lines or jagged zigzags, sometimes cut or printed so that they run in opposing directions. Alternatively, go for wide hoops that blend into each other on a midi or maxi, and add a print top. Retain some monochrome if you prefer, and mix with any of these.
Fashion trends are multiplying right now, but a basic one says that there are no rules. Start with a positive attitude, accepting that you will make mistakes. Put together what works, and bin what doesn’t. We think it’s simple, and we’re sure that you’ll get it!
The featured photo is of Aida Domenech wearing a striped blazer from Asos, plaid shirt, blouse and shoes from Mango and the bag is from Moschino
Mix The Prints: Aimee Song is wearing a brown leather jacket, leopard print bag and geometric print skirt from Chloe, military shirt from Mango, loafers from Everlane
Ashley Torres is wearing a camouflage anorak from Target, denim shorts from Joe’s Jeans, sunglasses from Karen Walker and the leopard print clutch is from DSW
Arielle Nachami is wearing check jeans from Rag & Bone and shoes from Christian Louboutin
Funda Christophersen is wearing a pinstriped blazer from Second Female, grey sweater from Moliin, plaid scarf from Gestuz and the bag is from Chanel
Julie Sarinana is wearing a bag from Kate Spade, striped T-shirt, skirt and leopard print coat from Zara
Aimee Song is wearing a checked print crop top from Keepsake, high waisted striped midi skirt from Cameo and a plaid blazer from Express
Rachel Parcell is wearing a denim shirt from J.Crew, print denim leggings from Rag & Bone, leopard print Clutch from Clare Vivier and shoes from Zara
Reem Kanj is wearing a coat from ASOS, shoes from Gianvito Rossi, bag from Elizabeth and James and the striped top and plaid shorts are from Harvey Faircloth
Liz Cherkasova is wearing a floral print pants from Ted Baker, striped top from Project Social T, shoes from H&M and the bag is from Chanel