From feather-inspired patterns to tropical florals, whimsical prints trumped all else on the Spring 2012 runways. This season, however, there’s one pattern that has caught designers’ eyes more than the rest: bird prints. The design took flight off the runways of various designers— like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Jill Stuart and Suno. Inspired by freedom and open wilderness, channel your inner free spirit with this happy-go-lucky trend.
1. Think subtle
Unlike animal patterns and tribal-inspired designs, this look works well as a soft print. With sherbet-tinted shades making a comeback this season, there's all the more reason to incorporate paler hues into your wardrobe. Take it from Jill Stuart’s 2012 Spring collection, showcasing a white blouse with soft tangerine and magenta bird prints, coupled with matching pants. By selecting either a blouse or pant similar to this print (see the look on the right) you’ll achieve an elegant, breezy look for spring.
2. Accessorize with caution
True, bird prints are subtler than most patterns, but some designers— like Marc Jacobs and Carolina Herrera— opted for bolder, more abstract varieties. In these cases, think of vibrant patterned attire as clothing melding with accessories. Similar to the Marc by Marc Jacobs runway that featured a silhouette dress with eye-catching bird prints (left), a bright hued purse is the only adornment you need, if at all. Carolina Herrera’s spring collection debuted a long-sleeved dress with bold prints, and a contrasting belt (right). Nothing more. Besides, spring is about being free and not letting accessories weigh you down.
3. Pay attention to pants
When sporting heavy printed shirts this spring, be wary of the pants you pair with them. Commuun’s Spring 2012 collection showcased a delicate printed bird top, with a block of gold material laced around the bottom (left). As seen on the runway, black pants dress up the outfit without becoming a distraction. In contrast, Gile’s runway opted for a retro-glam approach, pairing a swan-esque shirt with metallic pants. A little overpowering for some, but since the colours complement, the model is able to rock the look with ease.
4. Don’t go pattern overboard
While mix-matching patterns is in vogue this season, be cautious of the prints you choose to combine. Similar to the Suno kimono dress donned by Chloe Moretz at the 2011 CFDA Vogue/Fashion Funds Awards, pick-and-choose patterns carefully. In this case, bird prints accentuate the starlet’s features when colour blocked with a light monochromatic yellow hue. The brown in the print picks up the pigment in her eyes and hair. The dress is quite long, yet it doesn’t look like she’s swimming in patterns. A clear bird-print master— this starlet knows she doesn’t need to don anything else... aside from a pair of killer shoes.