apres le printemps, it's prints

Here and there in the gloom of fall's moody palette (in particular the grey fog of New York), lovely, colourful prints could be spotted. Typically, I don't buy too many prints because they tend to be too memorable and you can't really wear them too often - people remember them and wonder if you need to shop more.
But then the eye is fickle, and always wants something different, so when designers start showing lots of tasteful neutrals, one finds herself looking for something a little more cheerful, a little more different to act as a bit contrast to that Solid Bloc.
So it was great to see these great dresses by Duro Olowu -

I love how the obviously non-matching neon print seems to work perfectly with what is otherwise a fairly normal, run-of-the-mill colour block dress (the sort you see all the time at Marni). It's a nice, imaginative mix of a print and colour blocks, and it works.
(Very nice to finally see a Duro Olowu show by the way. I've always wanted to see more of his stuff, but not living anywhere near a shop that stocks his things, I've been sorely deprived.)
Consuelo Castiglioni also let an occasional print peek through at Marni -

The collection, if you asked me, was begging to be worn with a print beneath, which is surely great news to all Marni loyalists, for Ms Castiglioni has churned out countless whimsical prints before, thus allowing fans to continue wearing the old with the new for a different look altogether.

I really liked the Etro collection, not only because there was some nice prints (which should be a no-brainer, coming from Etro), but also also because of the loose-ish silhouette that was somewhat reminiscent of the 20s, and occasionally, the 70s -

Whatever it is, it was just great to have the eye focus on something that popped.

Gucci went for retro-ish prints, and while the 1940s' feel didn't go down well with everything, it certainly went down well with me because a) I love a retro print; and b) I love the 1940s.

I also have to include this nice black dress here, even though it's obviously not a print, because the silhouette rocks -

Minus the annoying shoes, the ugly bags, and the two-tone belt that reminds me of the straps I used to bind my books with, it was the kind of Gucci look Frida Giannini excelled at. I also really like this part vintage-looking aviator, part 1970s' rocker leather topper -

Very cool, very chic, very retro and very modern at the same time. Good one, Ms Giannini.

Balenciaga ignored the whole preoccupation with propriety and the sombre and went for lots colour and street attitude -

Aside from the really ugly, knobbly-butt pants and the occasionally too-obiang buttons on the blazers, it was the kind of easy-to-adopt look that seemed to mock all the pretentious black layers and capes and volumes fashion has been taking very seriously this past few seasons.
And there was also a repertoire of really lovely scarf dresses that will surely brighten up any wardrobe - and these are not your usual pretty flowery prints, your sexy animal prints, or your safe Art Deco graphic prints; these were truly multi-ethnic prints in a mix so original that your eye wouldn't be able to place them without some helpful show notes.

Altogether, it was a show, even with a few misses ( I really hate those pants, and what is with the shoes?), that was quite happily free of overly complex intellectualisation, was not boring, and included things that didn't conspire to make women look weird. Keep it up, Mr Ghesquiere.
Pictures from www.style.com


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