Using two or more panels of patterned fabric in the same ensemble, patchwork prints are entitled to be considered more of a print than a fabric trend. It is, however, the placement of those print fabrics that sets it apart as a trend and makes patchwork prints their own standalone clothing trend for spring / summer 2012. That fact may leave you wondering how patchwork prints differ from wearing print-on-print for summer.
It’s a very good question as there isn’t too much of a difference between layered and patterned prints in theory, as the end result of both does present the body in a canvas of colors and prints. However, patchwork prints are artistically created as one piece, by the means of sewing different pieces of print fabric together.
What might look like two unmatched pieces of fabric in an outfit is actually a well thought of ensemble styled to look that way. The patchwork can be outlined in any shape and there are no strict rules here: square, vertical, horizontal or random placements are all options. The prints can also clash or compliment.
Not everyone has the confidence to don statement prints, so it goes without saying that not everyone who likes the look of patchwork prints will have the confidence to wear them. So there are alternatives that lead out of the textured patchwork interpretation.
Alexander Wang and Rick Owens gave the trend an architectural edge, taking it trend towards structuralism and definition. Owens played with different types of fabrics such as leather and cotton, while Wang used mesh fabric with sweater knitting in a patchwork to define the silhouette. You don’t particularly need to have a print-rich wardrobe to adapt this trend, as patchwork patterns can be created with the mere paneling and placement of clean fabrics.