After hearing about Mary Katrantzou’s recent surge in popularity in London, I have become slightly obsessed with her dresses. I’m amazed how she pairs fabrics that should not make sense together, and creates elegant, beautiful dresses. They are the quintessential day-to-evening dress; pair them with a blazer for the office, and, later, some strappy metallic sandals and a clutch for dinner. Katrantzou has cited her inspirations as Faberge eggs, Ming dynasty, Meissen porcelain, and cloisonné enamel, and it shows. Her designs embody the Fall trend of collage prints perfectly.
Dries Van Noten’s 2011 Fall Paris Fashion week show also illustrated this collage trend with swirled animal prints, geometric patterns, zig-zagged lines, ruching, sequins, tweeds, velvets, wools, fur, brocades, and florals. And while it sounds too much for one collection, in true Dries Van Noten style, the result was trendy, beautiful and sophisticated, all at once.
The collage trend combines differing fabrics, textures, and/or styles, to create an interesting, unique ensemble. For readers in warmer climates, you can enjoy lighter fabrics and brighter colors well into fall. As always, the runway is not necessarily wearable for everyone on an everyday basis, but it can be used for inspiration. Remember to keep accessories simple – no busy, flashy jewelry, or shoes. This trend stands on its own. To avoid clashing, keep a color or tone running through the pieces. You don’t have to wear this trend head-to-toe, you can pair a Katrantzou–esque floral top with a plain skirt, or a geometric sequined dress with a simple cropped cardigan. Remember to keep an editing eye, or you will end up looking like a little girl dressed up in everything in her grandmother’s closet! And, as with every trend, take risks, but if you don’t feel comfortable or confident in it, don’t wear it.