A Patterned Life: How To Wear a Print

A Patterned Life: How To Wear a Print

I’m a print girl.  In fact, I’ve always been drawn to prints and patterns that create a bold fashion statement. Prints are timeless, add edge to a wardrobe, and appeal to a diverse age group (great style knows no age after all). While some people love print, others won't go near it, but I’ve had an affinity towards patterns and they have been a part of my personal fashion history.

During my modeling days, I had the pleasure of walking in shows by designers who the industry considered masters of print. Dolce & Gabbana’s leopard corset, Gianni Versace’s seashell, and Azzedine Alaia’ cheetah print, are some that come to mind because they transformed women (and this model at the time) and made them feel confident, strong and sexy. It’s probably why they became a favorite among fashion editors and models, and are now highly coveted items in vintage stores. In the 90s, prints gave way to a new decade of minimalism pioneered by Helmut Lang, Muccia Prada and Calvin Klein and consumers responded by going from bold to bland (but fashionable). But fashion is cyclical and thanks to style icons like Kate Moss and Beyonce, bold is back as a new generation of women seek to set themselves apart by donning prints. From Milan’s Via Montenapoleone to the Coachella Festival in Palm Springs, prints are popping up. Are prints the new black? Unlikely, but they are a way to dress up and add excitement to a wardrobe.

And now as a designer, I’ve come to incorporate an animal print in every collection. You can say I have a proclivity towards print! Most recently, I’ve probably used leopard print the most as I love it. Kate Moss is probably one of the best at putting together different patterns, so it’s no wonder she became a global fashion icon (and currently graces the cover of British Vogue 20 years into her storied career). She’s known to be very rock & roll, but her personal style veers more classic than trendy. Tailored jackets, slip dresses, vintage thrown in with new McQueen, leopard or boho chic, Kate epitomizes eclectic and smart style. And I love that, hence, why she’s a great inspiration to me as a designer. I often find if I can’t decide on a particular pattern, I’ll ask myself “Would Kate wear this? Would she love it”? And hopefully she does.

At Little Joe Woman, we design all our prints in-house and so they are exclusive to our brand. We try to listen to our customers and recently re-introuced the Butterfly print that was made popular when Yasmin Le Bon wore a Butterfly maxi dress at our show (thanks and love you Yassy!). That dress along with the Sea Queen dress I wore at the show was one of our most popular items and so we had to reprint it much to the thrill of our customers.  I’ve tried to put this pattern into boho-luxe style shapes that are flowing, yet cut on the bias, so they hug the body and will make a woman look her best.

By now I hope I’ve piqued your interest in adding a pattern to your wardrobe. So you’re probably asking, how would I wear it? Here are some of my tips:

-- Choose a print that’s not too overwhelming so the print doesn’t take over and wear you

—Pick one that shows your personality

—It should work with your lifestyle or what you’re doing that day (hint: you don’t want to turn up at the airport in a flowing dress, trying to navigate luggage and security lines. Though you will likely be best dressed at the airport!)

--Keep climate in mind. Wearing hibiscus flowers on a kaftan in London mid-winter isn’t a good idea

—Try opposite prints that work well together

—A statement print means subtle accessories, shoes and bag.

Hope these tips help you find a pattern that suits your lifestyle.  Whether it's butterfly wings, zebra strips, leopard spots, or boho folk prints, I’m confident we have something at Little Joe Woman that will appeal to you. And just like our patterns, you will be chic, timeless and sexy.

Happy shopping! XX GE

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