If the dark mornings, storms and cold winds are anything to go by, this winter is going to need a healthy dose of colour to brighten things up. The autumn/winter runways gave us plenty of new hues to work into our wardrobes for the season ahead (and baby blue, chocolate brown and arctic white are top of my list), but for those looking for something a little more exciting than head-to-toe tonal, it's time to talk about some VIPs. That's very important prints.
Remember the year everyone was "hot for the spot" and that Zara dress became a worldwide sensation? Or how about the most quoted line in The Devil Wears Prada? (and yes, florals for spring will always be groundbreaking). Such is the power of the perfect print that personally, my wardrobe doesn't feel complete without one, and whilst I patiently wait for Kate Moss to step out in another leopard-print coat to signal the true start of winter, it's well worth looking at the other print trends causing a stir right now.
The season's biggest trends tell us that more is more in 2023, and even the most minimalist brands are working printed pieces into their collections (see micro-dots from Sacai, painted florals from Lanvin and some very abstract moments from Victoria Beckham). So if you've already got your winter coat, stocked up on knits, and are looking for an exciting way to elevate your wardrobe this winter, keep scrolling.
Here are the six new print trends that you're about to see a lot more of over the next few months, and there's something for everyone.
1. CRAYON COLOUR-BLOCKING
Style Notes: Now, when we talk about colour blocking, there's only really room for punchy brights. Pastels have been enjoying a moment this autumn (and buttermilk yellow still looks impossibly luxe), but according to the likes of Alhuwalia, Stella McCartney, Roksanda and Fendi, ultra-bright Crayola colours look even better layered together in graphic, colour-block prints and we couldn't agree more.
Photo:Courtesy Stella McCartney/Linda McCartney
Photo:Gregoire Avenel Courtesy A.W.A.K.E. Mode
Style Notes: What started out as a major interiors trend over the last couple of years has now extended into fashion, and checkerboard is the statement print that we predict will be big into 2024 too. Take the Valentino and Undercover A/W 23 shows for example: monochrome, chessboard prints made up no less than eight of the looks, setting the tone for what is shaping up to be a very bold season. It's also the first of two check references in this list (more on that later), but if you're looking for a head-turning print that's a guaranteed conversation starter, it's check mate.
Photo:Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images
3. CARTOON FLORALS
Photo:Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Style Notes: It goes without saying that we expect ditsy florals for spring/summer and dark florals for autumn/winter, but what about a fun, bright floral lifted straight from the retro archives? These lurid cartoon florals come supersized in fun colours—perfect for a dreary winter. Wear layered up à la Benetton (pictured above) or opt for one statement piece like Molly Goddard's floaty maxi (below). Either way, you'll feel happier just by wearing this print.
4. POLKA DOTS
Photo:Emily Malan/WWD via Getty Images
Style Notes: Yes, you guessed it, polka dots are back (if they ever left), and thanks to cute dresses from Jacquemus, Marni, Alessandra Rich and many, many others, it's also a great option for party season. After all, what could be cuter than a Minnie-Mouse-inspired minidress worn with opaque tights and slingback shoes? It's the elevated way to style polka dots to perfection.
5. SUPERSIZED CHECKS
Photo:Courtesy Alberta Ferretti
Style Notes: We flirt with tartan and houndstooth every autumn and winter, but in 2023 we're turning up the volume on simple checks and making them bigger and better than ever. Take tips from new Burberry— master of the heritage check—and swap micro grid prints for bold stripes in fun colours that stand out from the crowd.
6. WATERCOLOUR PRINTS
Style Notes: Loud prints not your style? How about a soothing journey into calming watercolours instead?Soft, blurred edges, tonal colour palettes and all of the artistic flow of a Moran painting; this charming take on florals, landscapes and even the abstract is the most romantic print on this list, and pairs well with knits, denim and leather—basically, a must for print-lovers in winter 2023.