Mixed Prints Explode Across Spring 2012 Runways At New York Fashion Week

Mixed prints for Spring 2012 at Charlotte Ronson, Anna Sui, and Karen Walker during New York Fashion Week.
Photo: Getty Images

The mixing of prints, whether it's florals with stripes or variations of tribal patterns worn together, is a trend that designers have been dabbling in for the past two-ish seasons, but not until this New York Fashion Week's Spring 2012 shows has it really exploded into such a colossally unavoidable force. If you haven't already dipped your toes in the idea, now is definitely the time to start experimenting. The aforementioned florals + stripes combo is a tried-and-true one and a great starting point for working up to more advanced iterations like those seen this week from Charlotte Ronson, Anna Sui, and Karen Walker.

Charlotte Ronson plays with prints and textures in this first look, pairing a multicolored chevron knit with an ivory illusion skirt striped with dainty florals. In writing, it sounds like an ocular trainwreck, but a well-defined color palette and aesthetically economical accessories are paramount to ground the pattern variation and tie the whole look together. Anna Sui's take on the mixed print trend is a bit more subtle as she pairs a vibrant patterned red top with black star-embossed shorts. The shorts are printed, no doubt, but the black-on-black helps them to function more as a solid. Karen Walker layers variations of yellow plaid in a look from her Spring 2012 show, which if left alone could become visually crazy-making. Settle down, though, because Karen is a smart lady. Her well-placed black detailing in the skinny blazer lapel, shirt collar, and placket plus the simple straight-leg black trouser tidy up the fash-forward ensemble.


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