Samantha Miles runs A Thousand Yellow Daisies, a pattern design, illustration, and lettering brand. After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design, she focused on pattern design and blogging for small business start ups and enterprise advice. Samantha has picked out her 3 key print trends from this September’s London Fashion Week catwalks, to forecast the pattern styles that will be influencing fashion and homeware trends for AW16 and SS17:
This year’s London Fashion Week was a wonderful patchwork of styles, celebrating individuality and personal style. It seems no matter what your style, there is something to inspire and relate to everyone. With a large focus on diversity, race, gender and class equality throughout 2016, these issues have clearly been brought into many of the themes of the fashion week and inspired many of the designers. With everything from subtle, elegant styles to bold block silhouettes and brilliantly bright colours, there was something for everyone. However, as with any fashion event, there were a few standout themes. Here are my predictions of the top three print trends we’ll be seeing more of in the coming seasons…
Flora and fauna is one of the most traditional and common inspirations for many creative industries so it was no shock to see their reappearance this year. However what was interesting to see was the approach to nature inspired fashion.
Throughout the designs showcased there was a running theme of questioning the traditional boundaries of gender. Seeing designs combine extremes of both traditional masculine and feminine fashion in both the shape and pattern led to a wonderfully interesting take on traditional floral print.
With a strong theme throughout collections of bold masculine shapes paired with delicate floral patterns, this year we’re seeing a conflict of styles on the catwalk. Not that a conflict of styles is necessarily a bad thing- it’s bold, it’s unique, and it can be complementary.
This can be seen for example in Antonio Bernadi’s use of a traditionally feminine pattern in an elegant floral print, used with a more traditionally masculine block shape. It may be unusual but it works! Bold block shapes against intricate, delicate patterns emphasises the emotive feelings of each of these styles. The bold shapes become more obvious with a stronger impact, while the floral designs seem more feminine, more delicate and more elegant.
As well as the use of conventional and modern floral patterns, this year also saw the use of traditional artistic imagery and textiles techniques. Conventional artistic influences are seen in Burberry’s collection, using landscape paintings as fabric inspiration, as well as art deco influences in much of Marques’ Almeida’s work. It’s fantastic to see the influences that have inspired and influenced the designers in their work. The understanding that design is inspired by past design is now being featured within more artistic industries, rather than being hidden and hushed as it has been previously, where it could seem as if every designer must be entirely new and innovative. Designers know and understand that the past influences and inspires our design style and our design choices, and now we can see the inspirations are being celebrated through pattern and fashion.
We also see a very unique approach to some of the key themes in this year’s LFW as seen in Markus Lupfer’s approach to nature themed design. With a use of animals alongside the floral patterns, these fabrics definitely supported the feel of personality within style. Interestingly, Lupfer uses ideas that would have seemed unfashionable and unusual just a few years ago; ideas that promote personality and interest. The rabbit jumper, for example, holds a distinct feel of those slightly quirky teen jumpers, or perhaps a Bridget Jones reference, yet promotes pride in individuality and personality. I love that these unique styles that truly show personality are now as fashionable as they are relatable.
Shape has been key to all design aspects at LWF this year. We’re seeing a strong use of shapes and geometrics within both the clothing design and pattern design. Working with the shape limitations (or opportunities depending how you view it) is vital to any design, including fashion design. How you design within the ‘canvas’, whether that canvas is a piece of paper, a screen, or an item of clothing, can completely change the style and feel of a design.
Geometrics were showcased in all forms, from intricate geometric repeat patterns to bold block styles. With bright and bold taking centre stage in the geometrics this year, traditional intricate patterns are still being seen but have had a reboot. These more traditional, delicately intricate geometric patterns are now relying on bright bold colours to keep up with the trends.
Simple geometric patterns are seen in beautifully vibrant colours as featured in Temperly London’s collection. While these vibrant colours are also seen in larger block geometrics, they are more subdued by overlaying textures or complimenting fabrics, as seen in David Koma’s work. These geometric patterns focus much more on bold lines and block colours to provide impact while the intricate geometric designs use these bright, popping colours to stand out just as boldly.
There has been a wonderful show of equality throughout London Fashion Week 2016, and it’s been a fantastic year for humanity and cultural pride. There’s been a strong theme of cultural inspiration throughout the patterns and clothing design, with pieces featuring traditional styles, patterns and colours from a large range of cultures.
Ashish’s collection is a wonderful collection of rich colours, gorgeous sparkles and wonderful embroidery, while Peter Pilotto’s is a varied mix of cultures brought together. The designs inspired by a range of different cultures evoke a feeling of collaboration, human connection and community. Using inspiration from aboriginal art styles, to gorgeous rich golds, Mediterranean style geometric patterns, and flag inspired dresses; these collections prove the strong trend of cultural and home pride is a continuously growing trend. Forming more of a desire to be yourself, be personal, and be proud of who you are and where you’re from.