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An Insider’s Guide to Mastering Prints

3 9 2012

Diane von Furstenberg

Prints, and the mishmash layering of dotty dots and stripes and florals and everything in between, are all aflutter this Spring; and, when it comes to mastering prints that go wild, we trust no one more than our styling experts in the visual office.

In this week’s trend exploration, we asked our Women’s Store Visual Maestro, James Aguiar, to share his tips and tricks on mixing prints — no matter if you’re beginner, intermediate or advanced.  So, without further ado, meet James and his styling medium of choice, a 5F mannequin we dubbed Effy (get it? 5F?).

Nanette Lepore & Lauren MerkinAlice + Olivia Pants 212 872 2843

Mixing prints can seem daunting and there’s no simpler solution than to rely upon a uniform of all black.  The truth is that our heads turn when lured by the masters of the mix.

Now don’t be shy: it’s much easier than you think.  The simplest way is to stay within a color story.  A yellow stripe with a floral pattern with heavier yellow tones (like the above Alice + Olivia wide-leg pant), for example.

Equipment Blouse, Nanette Lepore Blazer, 3.1 Phillip Lim Shorts, 212 872 28433.1 Phillip Lim Jumpsuit, Stripe Blazer, 212 872 2843Rag & Bone Pants, Marc Jacobs Jacket, Elizabeth & James Blouse 212 872 2843

Play with classics like leopard and pair it with a star print like this Equipment Blouse (212 872 2887).  Another easy way to get the look is to mix stripes from thick to thin.

Lauren Merkin Clutch, 212 872 8901

I love the idea of a boldly-colored statement bag contrasting the entire look.  It’s a brave move that always works.  We chose this persimmon-colored Lauren Merkin clutch (212 872 8901) and were delighted by how brilliantly it worked with so many of our looks!

Kelly Wearstler Jacket, Rachel Zoe Top, Helmut Lang Pants, 212 872 2843Alexander Wang Pants and Rag & Bone Top, 212 872 2843Tucker Blouse, Proenza Schouler Stripe Shirt & Derek Lam Skirt, 212 872 2843

Don’t forget texture!  Sometimes a subtle detail (like a basket weave, waxed leather or the almost-lizard skin on these Helmut Lang stretch leggings) will sell the mix.

Jason Wu Stripe Sweater, 3.1 Phillip Lim Cardigan & Dries Van Noten Skirt 212 872 8747Jason Wu Stripe Sweater & Dries Van Noten Skirt 212 872 8747

The idea is not to go too far but to step just outside of your comfort zone.  For instance, Jason Wu’s sporty striped sweater (212 872 8747) MIXED with the romanticism of this floral Dries van Noten skirt (212 872 2797) is what the mix is all about!


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