Holding Pattern

May 30, 2009 • Magazine

Holding Pattern

Holding Pattern

Sat, 2009-05-30 08:00

Andra Naylor

While I’ve made great strides in adding color to my wardrobe, I must be honest and give myself a C- for doing the same with prints. I don’t like to fail at anything, so I’m embarking on a hunt for the perfect new pattern.

I guess it’s only appropriate then that my first find is a fun twist on the animal print. This Vivienne Westwood Cotton Dress ($850 at net-a-porter.com) has a zebra pattern and a splash of dip dye color. The belted waist is sure to flatter and the side slit pockets give it a casual feeling.

Because sometimes you feel like a lot of print and sometimes you don’t, I would also consider doing just a punch of animal print like Halston’s Sassy “Maxine” Clutch With Gold Chain ($1,396 at net-a-porter.com). If you’re shopping for animal inspired patterns, go wild!

On to a print that’s a blast from the past: tie dye. I was surprised to find this psychedelic trend making its way back onto the runway, but realized this was no seventies version. Check out Zimmerman’s Triple Fold Strapless Dress ($495 at shopbop.com), for example. At first glance, the pattern appears to be floral, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see it’s actually a creative tie dye silk interpretation that’s quite classy.

But wait, it gets cuter. Shopbop also carries Reed Evins Ballet Flats delicately tie dyed in brown, green or purple ($197.40 at shopbop.com). Just think how cute they would be with jeans and a white tee!

Prints are fun, but I know they can be overwhelming, so a light graphic pattern is a good way to ease yourself in. Banana Republic is stocked with prints this spring, and this Banana Republic Cap-sleeve Abstract Dress features subtle abstract squares ($130 at bananarepublic.com).

Dolce Vita’s “Mooshi” Dress ($198 at shopbop.com) is an ikat print – a unique blend of graphic and tie dye that tends to appear more organic and less designed. I love the bright color and easy-going shape that can be dressed up or left casual.

Last, but definitely not least, we have floral. Normally, I look for something bold so it doesn’t come off as prairie, but this year’s floral is soft and edgy. Take Alice + Olivia’s Vine-Print Dress ($215 at bergdorfgoodman.com) for example. It’s garden-fresh and sweet as can be, yet the orange belt adds a balancing modern pop. Or how about Juicy Couture’s Chrysanthemum Print Ruffle Dress ($134 at shopbop.com), a summery bouquet bursting with fun. I like both the pink and green color combinations, and would pair it with gladiators and a few simple bangles.

1. Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Monroe Cotton Dress Was $1,215 – Now $850.50
2. Halston Maxine Medium Clutch Was $1,995 – Now $1,396.50
3. Zimmermann Dusk Triple Fold Strapless Dress $495
4. Reed Evins Tie Dye Ballet Flats Was $282 – Now $197.40
5. Banana Republic Cap-sleeve Abstract Dress $130
6. Dolce Vita Mooshi Dress $198
7. Alice + Olivia Floral Vine-Print Dress Was $330 – Now $215
8. Juicy Couture Chrysanthemum Print Ruffle Dress Was $268 – Now $134

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