Key Prints & Patterns For SS12

In yesterday’s article, we broke down 4 of the key print and pattern trends that are being pushed for the spring/summer 2012 season by premium designers and the high street alike. If you missed it, check it out now, as we showcased florals, geometric, camouflage and polka dots.

Today we are going to cover 4 more prints and patterns that you could consider incorporating into your looks this year. So without further ado…

5. Graphic Print

One of the biggest advocates of the graphic print this season was Givenchy at Paris Fashion Week. Headed up by Creative Director Riccardo Tisci, the collection featured some the most beautiful graphic print patterns – of birds-of-paradise with floral backgrounds – in refreshing shades of pink, purple, green and white.

This was undoubtedly a bold choice by Tisci, but the visual impact worked impressively well and the collection was very well received by critics in Paris. The signature bird-of-paradise print was applied to all garments in large print format, from tees, blazers, shorts and man skirts to baseball caps, pertinently echoing the sports trend also feeding through this season.

Other designers such as Versace and D&G also supported the large print trend with curlicued patterns featuring on silk garments, with the fluidity of the pattern carried through successfully into the fluid flow of the fabric. Prada again showed their support of the pattern trend by featuring 50s style rolled sleeved shirts covered in mini-animated images of characters playing musical instruments and dancing, almost echoing a sort of comic-strip graphic pattern.

Attitude magazine recently produced a feature for SS12 with similar printed shirts and shorts from high street brands Topman and ASOS: the Topman version emphasised the sports influence with a repetitive print of mini-characters playing different types of sports, whereas ASOS opted for an outdoorsy feel with an adventurous print featuring pine trees, bears and wolves.

Also on the high street, the Plectrum collection by Ben Sherman features a range of clothes in washed-out, pastel colours for an authentic vintage feel. The highlight from the collection for me is a distressed grey/blue chambray shirt complete with a pale pink bird print – excellently channelling the Givenchy-Tisci bird-of-paradise concept, but at a much more affordable price.

Men’s Graphic Print Lookbook

Men's Graphic Print Lookbook

Men’s Graphic Print Picks
  • Allsaints Centennial Short Sleeved ShirtAllsaints Centennial Short Sleeved Shirt
  • Topman White Mermaid Print Short Sleeve ShirtTopman White Mermaid Print Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Topman Blue Tennis Printed ShirtTopman Blue Tennis Printed Shirt
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Surf-print Cotton-jersey Polo ShirtPolo Ralph Lauren Surf-print Cotton-jersey Polo Shirt
  • Asos Printed Short Sleeve ShirtAsos Printed Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Givenchy Paradise-print Cotton T-shirtGivenchy Paradise-print Cotton T-shirt
  • Our Legacy Reform Printed Cotton-canvas TrousersOur Legacy Reform Printed Cotton-canvas Trousers
  • Asos Printed Short Sleeve ShirtAsos Printed Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Drakes Dancing Steps Printed Cotton And Silk-blend Pocket SquareDrakes Dancing Steps Printed Cotton And Silk-blend Pocket Square
6. Animal Print

Animal print is another pattern which generally tends to be associated more with womenswear than menswear. Leopard, zebra and tiger prints have been used extensively in womenswear for years, but now animal prints seem to be making more headway in men’s collections too.

Particularly noticeable for SS12, designers have made use of animal patterns in leatherwear. For example, Yves Saint Laurent featured snakeskin pattern shoes and belts, whilst Hermes featured a crocodile skin blouson jacket in a warm burnt orange. Animal print has also been having an influence on men’s footwear, with Paul Smith sending his models down the runway in leopard print shoes and boots.

Of all the print trends, animal print is the one I am most sceptical about in terms of uptake in menswear, with it also probably being the hardest pattern to incorporate into an outfit. However, it is clear to see that some men see an obvious appeal here, especially those of you who like Rockabilly inspired style.

Men’s Animal Print Lookbook

Men's Animal Print Lookbook

Men’s Animal Print Picks
  • Topman Blue Leopard Print ShirtTopman Blue Leopard Print Shirt
  • Asos Vest With Leopard Print PocketAsos Vest With Leopard Print Pocket
  • Village Green Animal Print ShirtVillage Green Animal Print Shirt
  • Asos Leopard Print ShortsAsos Leopard Print Shorts
  • Eastpak Pakr Backpack With Leopard PrintEastpak Pakr Backpack With Leopard Print
  • Topman Stone Cord Leopard TieTopman Stone Cord Leopard Tie
  • Happy Socks Animal Print SocksHappy Socks Animal Print Socks
  • Paul Smith – Shoes Kasmin Congo Pony Stampato BootsPaul Smith - Shoes Kasmin Congo Pony Stampato Boots
  • Mark Mcnairy Leopard Print Desert BootsMark Mcnairy Leopard Print Desert Boots
7. Paisley

Paisley – often thought of as a rather old-fashioned, defunct print reserved for the older gent – is having a true resurgence in popularity.

Paisley is the signature pattern for high-fashion brand Etro, and true to form, their collection for SS12 was no exception. Both the collection on the runway at Milan Fashion Week, and their recent ad campaign, feature paisley print ties, scarves, neckerchiefs, trousers and shirts – all thrown together to create a real mish-mash of colour and pattern.

Admittedly, paisley from head-to-toe can be a bit overkill (as demonstrated by the Etro show). Paisley tends to work best in moderation, and particularly well in the form of accessories such as ties, scarves and pocket squares.

Both GQ USA and Esquire magazine recently featured articles on colourful paisley ties from designers such as Brioni, Polo Ralph Lauren and Alexander Olch. Similarly, Another Man magazine recently included an editorial photo-shoot called ‘Holyboy Road’, where the models were dressed in tailored suits and the looks were paired with beautiful paisley Hermes neckerchiefs.

Men’s Paisley Print Lookbook

Men's Paisley Print Lookbook

Men’s Paisley Picks
  • River Island Short Sleeve Paisley ShirtRiver Island Short Sleeve Paisley Shirt
  • Bedwin & The Heartbreakers Tailor Og Black Paisley ShirtBedwin & The Heartbreakers Tailor Og Black Paisley Shirt
  • Etro Paisley Printed V-neck SweaterEtro Paisley Printed V-neck Sweater
  • Christopher Shannon Kidda Paisley Print VestChristopher Shannon Kidda Paisley Print Vest
  • Topman Navy Paisley Micro Tailored ShortsTopman Navy Paisley Micro Tailored Shorts
  • Turnbull & Asser Paisley-print Silk Pocket SquareTurnbull & Asser Paisley-print Silk Pocket Square
  • Etro Paisley Print Linen ScarfEtro Paisley Print Linen Scarf
  • Reiss Lyndon Paisley Print Scarf RustReiss Lyndon Paisley Print Scarf Rust
  • Topman Paisley Printed Postman ShoeTopman Paisley Printed Postman Shoe
8. iKat

The final print I wanted to feature is the iKat print. I must admit that before researching this piece, I needed to check exactly what iKat is, as it isn’t something I had come across before. For those of you as clueless as myself, iKat refers to a dyeing process, where dye-resistant bindings are used before the dyeing process and cloth construction to create elaborate, multi-coloured patterns.

The notion of iKat is pretty popular right now, and Burberry Prorsum used an iKat-inspired print in their SS12 collection. The pattern was applied to shirts, but was also particularly eye-catching and impressive in hues of blue in their trousers. These trousers were the jewel of the Burberry Prorsum collection and actually feature in the SS12 Mr Porter ad campaign as worn by Logan Plant (see lookbook below), son of infamous Led Zeppelin rock singer Robert Plant.

IKat offers an interesting take on the pattern trend as it has clear influences from geometric and paisley prints – but retains a sense of individuality.

Men’s iKat Print Lookbook

Men's iKat Print Lookbook

Men’s iKat Picks
  • Woolrich Green Ikat Camp Collar ShirtWoolrich Green Ikat Camp Collar Shirt
  • Burberry Prorsum Ikat Digital-print Shirt 56849Burberry Prorsum Ikat Digital-print Shirt 56849
  • Woolrich Mens Ikat Military ShirtWoolrich Mens Ikat Military Shirt
  • Topman Blue Ikat Short Sleeve ShirtTopman Blue Ikat Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Topman Multi Ikat Patterned ShirtTopman Multi Ikat Patterned Shirt
  • Ralph Lauren Ikat-print ShortsRalph Lauren Ikat-print Shorts
  • Benson Patterned Chino ShortsBenson Patterned Chino Shorts
  • Burberry Prorsum Ikat-print Cotton And Linen-blend TrousersBurberry Prorsum Ikat-print Cotton And Linen-blend Trousers
  • T&f Slack Exclusive To Asos Ikat Slip-on ShoesT&f Slack Exclusive To Asos Ikat Slip-on Shoes

So there we have it, the FashionBeans summary of go-to prints and patterns for this season. So now over to you guys:

Are any of these prints likely to feature in your own wardrobes this year, or do you think you’ll play on the safe side and stick to plainer, non-patterned clothing? Are there any patterns you will categorically avoid, or any you would add to the list?

Let us know in the comments section below…