Thursday, 19 September 2013

New York fashion week print report:abstract prints.

Fashion trends tend to react to one another in a similar way to art movements. We seem to enjoy rebelling against the most recent trends and this is the nature of fashion. The Art Deco movement with its minimalist angular shapes is a perfect example of a movement in reaction to its predecessor-Art Nouveau's which was characterised by curved lines and floral tendrils. The punk subculture with its starched mohicans and studded clothing was a reaction to the hippies. 

Punk vs Hippie

I believe print design works in a similar way and that this abstract trend embracing curved lines and lacking in obvious form is a reaction to the structured grid/ geometric prints that have recently controlled the catwalk.

For SS14, designers seem to have gone incredibly abstract with their choice of prints. I  have categorized these abstract prints as abstract agate prints,made up of curvilinear shapes and colour bands resembling mineral formations and agate rocks and painterly abstract print is which use blurred imagery and obvious brushstrokes. 

If we look at the stylesight trend predictions for SS14 (posted here: we can see that this trend fits perfectly with the 'rational' trend prediction and it's 'mineral geometric structures'. This was the trend I was most looking forward to seeing interpreted on the catwalk and I'm extremely happy that this is the direction so many designers are going  for in SS14.

I have always found Agate rocks extremely beautiful with their tonal coloured bands and crystallized centres, and after recently visiting the Natural history museum and seeing their agate and precious stones collection found myself wondering why these natural formations have never inspired catwalk fashion.

1.Philip Lim, 2.Robert Rodriguez, 3.Philip Lim, 4.Jeremy Laing, 5.Clover Canyon, 6.Rachel Comey, 7.Philip Lim, 8.ICB, 9.Peter Som, 10.Rachel Comey, 11.Peter Som.

In my opinion the designers which champion this trend are Peter Som with his liquefied blue colour bands and Robert Rodriguez who has combined the curved abstract lines with a very structured garment- I love the contrast!


Alongside the agate inspired band abstract trend is the painterly abstract designs. Ink wash fabric, tie dye and unrecognizable blurred shapes are the main aspects of this branch of the abstract trend. Embodying colours adopted by romanticism; greys, pale blues and pastel pinks, and the electric brights of tie dye, there is so much scope for creative interpretation with this trend.

1.Lela Rose, 2.Y-3, 3.Josie Natori, 4.Mara Hoffman, 5.Monique Lhuillier, 6.Diane Von Furstenberg, 7.Libertine, 8.Zero and Maria Cornejo, 9.Cakka,10.Misha Nonoo, 11.Adeam, 12.Marissa Webb, 13.Creatures of Comfort, 14.BCBG Max Azria, 15.Kaelen, 16.Honor.

 Josie Natori with her vibrant digital ink ombre fabric champions the bright side of this trend and Misha Nonoo exudes femenine romanticism in her collection. Another designer that falls into this trend is Zimmermann, although his collection wasn't my favourite, I just want to draw your attention to one of his print designs which is abstract yet figurative and still extremely romantic.

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