Printing Press
Find your prints charming with this year’s
offering of unusual patterns. Be it fruit, fish or
faces, there is no excuse for being a plain Jane
By Isabella Redmond Styles
It began with a pair of banana earrings. Not just any old pair of banana earrings but the ones worn by Miuccia Prada as she took her bow after the Prada spring/summer 2011 show.  
The collection shown had boasted an unusual amount of novelty prints - blue monkeys, dancing ladies and, of course, bananas. It was a clear sign that for spring/summer 2011 and
beyond, it’s time to take print to the next level. Forget traditional florals or stripes - herald summertime in
Stella McCartney’s luscious citrus prints, return to nature with organic prints from
Duru Olowu and Rodarte or unleash your animal instinct with Jill Stuart’s foxes & owls or Mary Katrantzou’s Pond Koi. This year, it’s all about being pretty in print.
For fall 11, Giorgio Armani took a little me time this season by emblazoning a vintage photo of himself on a tunic. Other designers followed suit. David Koma used photo prints of faces
intermixed with polka dots and pom poms, while
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac paid tribute to Man Ray’s iconic Glass Tears and Le Violon d'Ingres images by reworking them onto
dresses. They do say fashion allows you to experiment with multiple personas, after all.

There’s nothing more refreshing than an ice cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day and now thanks to Stella McCartney, Moschino and Betsey Johnson, we have our sartorial
Stella McCartney played with classic prints of oranges and lemons for spring/summer 2011, stamping them on everything from dressers to boxy tunics to jumpsuits.       
Rosella Jardini added a leafy lemon print to the already bright and cheery Moschino Cheap & Chic spring/summer 2011 collection. While Betsey Johnson championed that other much
loved summer fruit, the strawberry, with a winsome halter neck dress.
Other designers bypassed florals in order to showcase more
unusual elements of the natural world.
Basso & Brooke took their
inspiration for fall/winter 2011 from earthy camouflage.
Akris went
for a stark leafless tree print as well as a directional photographic
print of
Joseph Maria Olbrich's Wedding Tower. A king of print in
his own right,
Duro Olowu didn’t disappoint with his lively leaves
and blossoms and the
Rodarte models walked through the wheat
fields of the American Plains in their silky wheat printed gowns.

Many of fashion's finest just wanted to have fun and step away
from the stricter, more minimalist styles that had dominated the
runway in recent seasons, and what better than to tap into those
animal instincts?
Jill Stuart delighted us with swooping owls and
rosy red foxes. Antelopes and jackals were the order of day at
Marc by Marc Jacobs’ 1940s meets 1970s show. While         
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac kept it kooky with images from
Disney's classic 101 Dalmations.  Across the pond, bright London-
based designer
Mary Katrantzou showed her flair for original
prints with tranquil scenes of Pond Koi. It just goes to show that
animal lovers can still be chic.

If bananas and foxes aren’t your thing, opt for florals taken up a
notch. At
Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière presented languid
blooms intersected by reptilian creatures.
Carolina Herrera took a
more anatomical approach to the floral trend, referencing botanical
plates collected in the 18th Century. Herrera used sprawling
flowers printed across evening gowns, complete with encyclopedic
detail. Whether it’s
Giles’ animated tropical blooms or Bensoni’s
sanguine roses, this is the year of the thinking person’s floral print.