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Trend Forecast
Published: Volume 19, Issue 5, May, 2011
Restrained madness sets a pattern

The big mix-up

Pair prints with plains – the golden old rule of the ‘best dressed’. Smashing this myth to smithereens is the Dries and Kenzo school of thought, making vivid statements all over the runways this season. Here, overgrown blooms can be teamed with batik surfaces, giant watercolour florals can be mixed with checks and stripes. Three or four different jacquards can be layered together; so can two colour ways of the same print. But as ‘kooky’ as it looks, this trend is one of the trickiest to master. The carefully planned ‘randomness’ is all about a practised eye and control. That is what separates the experts from the novices.


Duality never ceases to intrigue, and designers have showcased their layered personas on the runways. Surprises and unexpected elements have appeared in an effort to be unpredictable. With Perspex/ leather cutout corsets and stiff jackets come diaphanous, swirling skirts and pyjamas. A flowing chiffon maxi is the unlikely canvas for a digital print featuring a mountain of skulls. Organza tutus are teamed with strict, collared shirts. A ‘proper’ constructed jacket suddenly breaks out into a ‘random’ drape. Flimsy gauze and embroidered gun motifs, laser-cut ‘broderie’, assertively structured florals – clever contrasts with wry humour. Predictable? Not me.

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