Print: To Mark (a surface, typically a fabric or garment) with a coloured design or pattern. A definition by google that doesn’t do it justice. A print can be bold, fierce or subtle. It can create a new persona in both nature and fashion. It can be worn with confidence.
During the 19th century Women were expected to behave in a certain manor and wear certain clothes. Pastel shades were worn as a sign of affluence and taste, identifying the wealthy from the poor. However during the 20th century this idealistic look was abolished and women began to express themselves in patterns that they were proud and confident of.
Paul pioret a French fashion designer gave lead to this movement in 1909, taking inspiration form the ballet in France. He adopted an oriental style to his pieces, which encouraged women to embrace their new found confidence in printed clothing. This was still however a trend strongly associated with class.
During both World War One and Two the main focus in the fashion industry was to ‘make do and mend’ encouraging women and their children to reduce wastage and recycle old clothing. This left very little movement within the fashion industry for prints and bold colours to emerge.
In the 60s fashion was heavily influenced by the role of Art. Different pop art designs meant that there was a rise in Mary Quant simplistic printed dresses. However, this movement quickly faded, and an outbreak of the Hippie movement recognised more relaxed prints like tie dye and paisley.
Today, common prints are animal prints and floral. High street stores are grasping their hands on Tom Fords Autumn/Winter collection 2018 of red leopard print suits and Ganni leopard print wrap blouse and applying it to more affordable clothing.
Here Grace is modelling an A-line leopard print skirt from Topshop. In western culture this print signifies social status however during the 1950s the print became associated with low class, flashy women which was featured in Racy magazines. However, during the 80s the print transformed and signified power for women in rock. Today, I believe different generations have different opinions behind such a bold print, but for me it all depends on how it is styled and worn rather than the print itself.
For more subtle prints these floral blouses are from Nobody’s Child which look perfect with jeans for an effortless style.