Runway To Real Way: In Fine Print

June 13, 2011 • Magazine, Runway To Real Way

Choosing this Summer’s Snazziest Patterned Pieces

In the fashion world, the spring and summer seasons are a time to let things loose. The fabrics are light, the hemlines are high and the color and prints are explosive. Adding just one zesty patterned piece into your wardrobe this season will conceive an assortment of looks that are fun and totally of the moment. New York-based designer Mara Hoffman served up a particularly splendid crop of freshly picked looks, sprinkled with ikat, tribal and even Pollack-esque splatter prints in her spring collection. Taking cues from her bold splashes of color and varied motifs, we can easily find ways to incorporate the trend into everyday.

Who wouldn’t want to be the queen of diamonds in a playful geometric print? Mara Hoffman’s flirty little minidress packs a solid punch with its overlapping neon chevrons. In a simple sleeveless cut and zipper up the middle, a style like this is perfect for outdoor concerts, festivals or weekend shopping trips. For a similar take, the Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent silk romper boasts the same diamond design with a flirty front keyhole and comfortable drawstring waist.

The quickest and most surefire way to jazz up your summer wardrobe is with a vibrantly printed bottom. Hoffman’s aqua kaleidoscope print is equal parts playful and edgy. The cropped length and slim fit make for versatile daywear staple when paired with a simple, solid top. Oxfords or flats keep the look casual while a cutout bootie or vampy heel would take the trousers out in the evening. Preen’s black stretch denim jeans feature a similarly dazzling design, and upon closer look, the speckled spots are actually miniature flower buds. Talk about a new way to sport spring’s florals!

What would any lazy summer day be without slipping into a billowing maxi dress? From lazing on a boat to lying out at the beach, the maxi dress is the ultimate style/comfort hybrid. So why not play up those folds of diaphanous fabric with an all over print that transforms you into a breezy boho goddess? Hoffman’s tribal print cascades down her asymmetrical hemmed dress with plunging sides. If that style is a little too peek-a-boo for you, Joie offers up a beautiful version in eclipse ikat chiffon with the same baring neckline and little more modesty everywhere else.

Top off your adventure into decorative designs with a simple, ornamental top! A flattering fit for anyone is a loose-fitting style with elbow-length sleeves like in Hoffman’s collection. With a button-up front and zigzagging lines, the print remains bold without seeming too over the top. As with patterned bottoms (above), it’s always best to keep the patterned motifs to one part of the outfit to avoid looking too costumey That does, not however, mean you can’t have fun with your contrasting piece, as Hoffman proves here with her fresh, citrus pant. The experts over at Madewell created their own tribal version in a simple slouchy t-shirt shape. The ombre colors keep the design youthful and fun and any color in the palette could be picked for the bottom without compromising the chic.

With the help of Mara Hoffman’s vision, you can burst into the season by adding one or two of these pretty patterned pieces. These decorative designs can spice up any blah-worthy separates and provide you with plenty of panache to make a standout statement.

1. Minidress/Romper
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2011 RTW
Real Way: Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Printed Silk Romper (Nordstrom Exclusive), $248

2. Printed Pants
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2011 RTW
Real Way: Preen Line Floral-print Slim-leg Jeans, Now $200

3. Printed Maxi Dress
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2011 RTW
Real Way: Ornella Ikat-Print Maxi Dress, $328

4. Printed Blousey Top
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2011 RTW
Real Way: Madewell Electric Ikat Top, $95

—Alia Rajput

Image Layout: Molly Murphy

Runway Photos: NYMag



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