Is print the new black? Yes, your pretentious fashion-speak barometer has probably just exploded, but SS12 has replaced fashion’s (n)ever-changing monochrome obsession with irresistibly bright and colorful variations of prints and patterns spearheaded by London-based designers such as Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders and Meadham-Kirchhoff.
It’s suddenly become ‘chic’ to wear neon colours with outlandish prints, which might be a nod to 90s rave culture as much as it’s expressing a new kind of fashion carelessness. Taking yourself less seriously is best expressed by the playful designs of Meadham-Kirchhoff where Care Bears, rainbows and an explosions of heart shapes mark a new joie de vivre that defies classical ‘style’ but at the same time exudes bonkers brilliance. The inventiveness and tongue-in-cheek, genre-bending fashion of the team that met whilst studying at Central Saint Martin’s is a breath of fresh air blowing the hat off of conventional style. It’s about time.
Another London-based designer making big waves in the industry is print queen Mary Katrantzou, who presented a sea of flowers for her SS12 collection. Full-on floral trouser suits sit comfortably with lavish motifs inspired by her main theme ‘man meets machine meets mother earth’. With just six collections under hear belt, Greek-born and fellow Central Saint Martin’s graduate Katrantzou has developed a strong sense of self letting her imagination run free combining elaborate underwater images with feathers and flowers as well as more ‘worldly’ tin cans and car parts. It’s a spectacle.
Finally, a special mention has to go to the design duo that fronts the digital print phenomenon: Peter Pilotto. Their designs bristle with optimism and punky pop. Who would have thought that clashing colours and prints could make for beautiful designs?
Bye bye boring black, hello playful prints!
London Fashion Week opens tomorrow, 17th February 2012.