Paris Fashion Week: The two prints dominating the Fall 2014 shows

Photography by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty ImagesThere is tons of talk about fabric this season.

Thick chunky knits are everywhere at Paris Fashion Week, with the knit pant quickly becoming a key piece for Fall 2014. Rich velvets in romantic shades of burgundy to soft rose have been spotted at Nina Ricci and Elie Saab. Sheer silk chiffons have revealed everything from legs and backs to arms and décolletage, and lace is cropping up in nearly every collection as a full-on feature or a just hint of sex appeal. But what are designers doing with those fabrics to keep them feeling fresh? Lets take a minute to examine the prints story. It seems as though designers are divided into two different camps: the florals and the optic prints.

The gardeners:
Yesterday’s shows had several designers whose main business is evening wear and they’re hoping business will be blooming come fall. Giambattista Valli splashed hyper feminine blown out flowers across his short, stiff dresses. At Emanuel Ungaro, broken black roses had an almost X-ray quality. Elie Saab decorated floor length dresses with dark petals that looked as though they’d been captured through an Instagram filter to achieve that quality of colour saturation.

The graphic artists:
The other direction we’re seeing is playful optic prints. Stella McCartney used silk cording to create complex swirling patterns across her clothes. While not technically a print, she achieved the same effect as other designers like Acne and Kenzo, only with appliqué. Sacai, a brand known for trompe l’oeil techniques, layered geometric scarf prints to create interest. Finally, at Saint Laurent, Slimane splashed big bold dots across heavily sequined sixties-inspired dresses and toasty fur toppers.

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