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Fashion Week Focus: Prints

Dazed & Confused Fashion Assistant Elizabeth Fraser-Bell picks out this season's highlights, namely experimental prints from the likes of Christopher Kane to Prada

Having never been the most avid lover of print, I can proudly admit that this season - I have been converted. The most convincing argument for conversion being the incredible Raf Simons collection for Jil Sander. Prints were minimal and fun with a pink stripe on a full length couture skirt teamed with black sheer stripe vest, a white shirt with watercolour washed out flora and a spray paint effect digital flower print dress sporting a black jacket slung over the shoulders of Kasia Struss. The lack of consistency between prints only served to enhance the cohesion of organic and graphic onto these beautifully constructed pieces. As was the case for so many other design houses this season. 

The most apparent form of contrast was illustrated by Miuccia Prada for Prada. Her enigmatic sense of humour and irony expressed by the monkey and banana cartoon print flowing through the dresses, skirts and jackets. The colour block opening transcended into a selection of differing stripes throughout the remainder of the collection from french stripe to prison house, through to the layers of the shoes using espadrille, trainer and brogue soles - all on one shoe. Yet again, Prada has succeeded in turning the most obscure and unenviable aesthetic into something totally mesmerizing, comprehensible and predictably - everyone including myself wants a piece of it. And the same goes for her Miu Miu collection - whilst I struggle with the size of the leather jackets for the wearability factor, the minimal star print inspired by Miuccia's observation on the current trend in the need to be famous, really appealed to me - a simple and direct comment on today's society translated into wearable print.

Comments on society seem to be a running theme through the print of this season with Givenchy picking up on the decadence and style that the leopard print exudes. The print was used in almost every look with varying techniques such as screen print and jacquard, layered in chiffons, silks, cottons - one of the only collections this season to use one recurring print rather than a mix. The gothic translation of the print allowed the refined glamour to prevail with designer, Riccardo Tisci transforming the over indulged print's connotations into that of elegance and beauty.

Missoni was one of my favourite surprises of the season. Confidently stepping away from the classic Missoni branding, Angela Missoni left the zigzag print behind, replacing it with a truly exciting array of tribal worldly print and acid colour, draping every girl in the incredible imagery with Margherita Missoni's influence creeping through in the lyrics embroidered and printed onto selected pieces.

Versus and D&G both used spring florals in abundance to communicate their summer vibes, surrounding their guests and models with whimsical scenery. Versus, took most of their prints from the Versace/Versus archives, mixing them up a little under the watchful eye of innovator, Christopher Kane, to reveal a fun and fresh view on summer's palette.

Playful bursts of print thrown into collections were also a running theme in shows such as Stella McCartney where the fruit bowl prints were sent sauntering down the catwalk along with Celine's more refined retro graphics screen printed onto flowing silks.