How to wear animal print this winter Featured

Transform your winter wardrobe with prints, patterns and bold graphics 

by 17 November 2015

The winter fashion filly comes in many guises this season, but one thing is for sure, she will arrive wrapped up in prints and patterns galore. Whatever your climate, calling or choice there is a print or pattern to suit. The designers took inspiration from not only bygone eras, but also futuristic visions, delivering us a hefty helping of eye-watering designs from Bourgeois wallpaper prints to hi-tech overblown graphics.

Alessandro Michele coined the phrase ‘attic chic’ for his debut fall/winter 2015-16 collection for Gucci, which sees vintage-inspired floral prints on dresses and trouser suits offering a contemporary take on nostalgic prints. The Italian designers en masse have reinvented heirloom treasures this season and taken inspiration from many a carpeted corridor and wallpapered wall, with an abundance of rich brocades, upholstery style fabrics and prints and carpet patterns making their way into collections including Prada, Bottega Veneta, Marni and Etro.01 ETRO AW1516Etro AW15

Etro’s wallpaper prints and geometric tapestries and patchworks in rich textures and a subdued tonal palette of camels, browns and greys offers a refreshingly subtle and sophisticated take on the bold print trend. The collection, which includes beautifully tailored and ornately textured pleated skirts, belted dresses, long swinging overcoats and wide cropped trousers paired with kooky patterned knits is one for the more studious of dressers, those looking for packing a punch with their print, but not shouting about it. This is geek-chic with an eclectic edge, Granny dressing but on a whole new sophisticated and super-chic setting.

Burberry also opted for such finery and craft-rich prints with a collection entitled Patchwork, Patterns and Print. Patchwork ponchos and high-waisted smocks and upholstery style patterned coats and dresses add to winter’s decadent yet vintage bohemian luxe aesthetic.

Burberry-Womenswear-Autumn Winter-2015-Collection---Look-48-copyBurberry AW15

At the opposite end of the spectrum, yet still with a nostalgic nod, are the decidedly more flamboyant prints and patterns seen at Loewe, Carolina Herrera and most significantly Dior. The house’s signature leopard print first introduced back in 1947, has been reinvented for the modern woman. Overblown psychedelic clashing colour prints are swirled over dresses, polo necks, coats and boots. “The idea of animals and an abstraction of their patterns became key; none of them literal more the invention of a new species,” stated Raf Simons in the show notes, calling his winter wares “a new kind of camouflage.” These are definitely statement prints worth shouting about, and without even trying, will stand out in the crowd. This is not the ‘camouflage’ for the demure, wallflower dressers.

Related: Buy now, wear into winter: 5 pre-fall must-havesDiorDior AW15

For the epitome of print impact, you cannot beat hi tech bold graphics and slogans. Last season, fast-food chic was everywhere but this winter, bring on the reflective jackets, as roadside elegance, in the form of motorway inspired graphics will be making its way onto our totes and clutches. Anya Hindmarch’s fall/winter 2015-16 collection is inspired by the lights, reflective surfaces and graphic signage of the British motorways and using a hi-tech leather marquetry techniques, Anya has created bags and scarves emblazoned with ‘Men at Work’ and ‘No Entry’ graphics, reflective leather and slogans such as ‘Slow Down’ and ‘Give Way.’

Anya 01Anya Hindmarch AW15

If ‘off motorway’ urban street style is more your direction, then look to Jeremy Scott’s Looney Tunes inspired and graffiti inscribed collection for Moschino or Marc by Marc Jacobs’ utilitarian and protest inspired slogan wares.

Whatever your personal print and pattern penchant – eclectic heirloom prints, futuristic graphics or bold and idiosyncratic accessories, winter looks set to be a sight for sore eyes. All hail the winter print rebirth.

Related: The art of rainy day dressing