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Lively and varied prints are a persistent theme which features in almost every fashion collection in every season. However, the great thing about fashion prints is that they can be constantly updated and refined, so that each new collection brings a re-invention of what has gone before.

The great beauty of prints is that the variety is almost infinite. Some, such as paisley, become real fashion icons and come to define an era, while from time to time being brought back by leading designers.

Floral Prints

Floral prints have long had a place in fashion history, the size of the blooms pictured varying with the prevailing tastes. But every woman’s collection should include a couple of classics on this theme, as they have come to epitomise a look of elegance and timelessness. Again, flowers are a popular motif, not just because they are closely associated with femininity, but because nature has given designers such a huge array of shapes and colours from which to take their inspiration.

At the other end of the spectrum from the gentle, soft, feminine shapes of flowers, 2013 is seeing a trend for highly bold geometric shapes, with squares, diamonds and triangles all featuring in designs now being brought to their customers by the top fashion retailers.

Of course, these angular shapes have long featured in dress styles, and for this year, Peter Pilotto in particular took this theme to produce a range of startling patterns, which put a great deal of emphasis on mixing monochrome patterns with splashes of bold colour.

Design Inspiration

British designers Clements Ribeiro have long championed a varied collection of prints, but for spring and summer 2013, they went down a strongly angular route, with lots of large, diagonal checks, tempered by plain collars and horizontal striped tops to create some visually arresting contrasts. But their collections also had a more romantic touch, with light and pastel coloured prints overlaid on bold blues and blacks.

House of Holland’s contribution to the print trend for 2013 took the shape of an eye-catching mix of bold abstract mixes of bright colours, especially blues, pinks and yellows, echoing the tripped-out hippy styles of the late 1960s and early 70s. By contrast, Henry Holland and his associates also brought us a number of large checks with tops and trousers in differing colours.

Jasper Conran has also taken inspiration from the 1960s, with a number of large flower prints on plain, primary backgrounds, and, on a completely different note, a number of vivid patchwork mixtures which make most use of bold, darker colours such as reds, blues and greens.

The sheer number of bold prints which showed up on the catwalks for this spring and summer mean that those which are now finding their way into the leading high street and online stores are intended for all-seasons, all-occasions wear. So whatever your taste in bright, vibrant designs, there’s plenty of variety on offer this spring, and heading into the summer the outlook is looking very bright indeed – regardless of what the weather has in store for us.

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