It’s easy to tell that fashion designers had a lot of fun with the fall/ winter 2019-2020 print trends. Some labels deserve a shout out for incorporating many of the fall/ winter 2019 print trends into a single collection! These fearless trendsetters included R13, LaQuan Smith, Altuzarra, Gucci, and Richard Quinn.
The fall 2019 print trends include callbacks to spring, like various florals, butterflies, and tie-dye, while others are classic autumn-like argyle, plaid, paisley, brocade, and chequered patterns. On the more avant-garde side of things we have patchwork patterns, watercolor patterns, and slogans and phrases that take a political turn.
A few stand-out fall 2019 pattern trends that are harder to categorize include the youthful camouflage print and the romantic heart prints. Oh, and did we mention that animal prints are back with a vengeance? Which of these prints will become staples in your autumn and winter closet?
#1. Hyper-Realistic Florals
Seeing florals as part of the fall 2019 print trends is not necessarily surprising, but it’s still fair to say that we expect them to show up more often in spring. There were a few autumnal takes on florals, with hyper-realistic flower prints standing out to us as the most interesting and unique.
First on the list is Dries Van Noten, who printed slinky silk garments with pictures of flowers from his garden. The realistic flowers, with stems and thorns, gave a romantic effect that was raw and a little rough, as opposed to the kitschiness some floral prints can sometimes take on.
There was a similar real-flower inspiration at Prada, particularly utilizing roses and also showcasing their stems and thorns. In the beginning of the show they were strictly a print, but the closing look featured an entirely three-dimensional bouquet. Valentino, MSGM, and Rodarte also used realistic florals in their fall/ winter 2019 prints.
#2. Busy Florals
On the other side of the spectrum from hyper-realistic flowers, sitting comfortably with all the other ‘90s-inspired prints were the busy floral motifs we saw in the fall 2019 print trends.
Richard Quinn played with a lot of different takes on busy florals (as well as other prints), splashing them all over skirts, blazers, voluminous coats, cocktail dresses, and evening gowns. Daisies, roses, and poppies all made an appearance in different styles, and in four instances even fully covering the faces of the models.
The busy florals at Erdem were utilized to emphasize the volume of the large, flowy dresses that closed the show. Other designer labels to play with busy florals include Tory Burch and Oscar de la Renta.
Butterflies are back for the fall/ winter 2019 print trends, and we couldn’t be any more pleased! These little creatures might not be flying around in our gardens right now, so it’s lovely to see them on dresses and other garments.
Butterflies were a key part of Mary Katrantzou’s recent spring collection, but for the fall/ winter show she turned things up a notch by presenting butterflies over galaxies on fantastic dresses that totally reimagined the print.
Alice + Olivia presented a lookbook for fall that was all about butterflies over a black and red background. Black dresses and jackets covered in colorful butterflies were absolutely perfect evening wear, with the dark color being a great way of presenting butterflies for winter. We also loved the butterflies decorating elegant dresses at Valentino and Rodarte.
A touch of romance made its way into the fall/ winter 2019-2020 print trends, in the form of heart prints. Graphic, cute, and perhaps a little childish, we gotta say we were genuinely surprised to see this print come back in a season that seemed to us, for the most part, quite cynical.
Black or red hearts were used like polka dots at Rodarte, as they were liberally sprinkled over white dresses that we can just imagine lovers of literal fashion saving in their closets for next Valentine’s Day.
For MSGM, Massimo Giorgetti pulled inspiration from the ‘60s Italian magazine Flash Art, which explains the cutesy graphics. Big black or red hearts (both whole and broken) dotted white dresses, blouses, and balloon skirts in his collection.
The craze for tie-dye continued from spring unto the fall 2019 print trends. This season designers proved that tie-dye is not only a warm weather print, by applying it to warmer materials and creations, and layering whatever they liked below and over it.
The tie-dye creations everyone is talking about showed up on the neon runway of Prabal Gurung, whose tie-dye also made a splash last season. This year, large sweatshirts and turtleneck tops were covered in a green, white, and yellow tie-dye, with green coats layered over them.
We saw a fabulous example of monochrome or duochrome tie-dye at Area, in one case in the form of a shimmery red dress covered with white tie-dye splashes, and in others as circular splashes of tie-dye printed graphically over skirts and tops, in red and white combinations as well as purple and red.
Collina Strada, Kim Shui, Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Off-White are a few of the other brands to play a bit with tie-dye prints.
#6. Jacquard and Brocade
So technically, jacquard and brocade refer to the method by which these embroidery-like patterns are created, but for the fall/ winter 2019 pattern trends, these traditional designs were often achieved through printing rather than with the help of a loom. Jacquard and brocade-style prints have natural motifs in flowy patterns that play with repetition and symmetry beautifully.
Brocade dresses, jumpsuits and skirts at Oscar de la Renta were carpet-inspired, but with the lovely embroidery-inspired plant motifs decorating hems and necklines as a charming touch. At Vaquera, brocade had a lighter tone, with a golden and light blue fabric used to make a few different outfits, including a voluminous dress.
The brocade effect at Etro was our top favorite, since it utilized all different kinds of embroidery motifs and applied them to both casual jackets and eveningwear in perfect autumnal colors. We also spotted some brocade at Naeem Khan, Simone Rocha, Anna Sui, and Prabal Gurung.
#7. Watercolor Motifs
A little like tie-dye but more artsy than playful is the watercolor print. Splashes of color, whether intentional or unintentional in appearance, can give a wild and dramatic feel to a garment without the heavy associations of tie-dye.
An earth-toned watercolor print gave a gorgeous marble effect to a jumpsuit in the Nanushka autumn collection. Jonathan Cohen played with a lot of the fall 2019 print trends, but a black coat covered in neon watercolor splashes showed exactly why this is one of the most interesting prints this season. Sies Marjan, Byblos, and Peter Pilotto also presented interesting watercolor prints on their runways.
#8. Tropical Patterns
Taking something counterintuitive and making it work is an age-old way in which designers challenge themselves. Using tropical prints for the fall/ winter 2019-2020 print trends is pretty daring, since this is a print that is heavily associated with summer.
Bright and busy tropical flower prints decorated dresses at Coach 1941. The looks still maintained an autumnal feel since the colors themselves were muted and dark, and most dresses had autumn jackets and winter coats layered over them.
Layering was also part of what made the tropical prints at Dior fall-appropriate. The prints were subtle, mostly showing up in the forms of ferns and palm trees along the bottom of maxi skirts. Combined with sweaters or plaid jackets, the look made us think of a woman in winter, wishing for a vacation.
There was a touch of spring at Peter Pilotto, in the form of silk dresses covered in tropical flowers, but it was more unique to see these patterns used on suits.
#9. Patchwork Patterns
Patchwork is an ultra-trend this season, with literal patchwork techniques applied on quite a few runways, and patchwork-style prints being even more common. The final three looks at Eckhaus Latta have been getting posted all over the place, and with good reason. The knitted outfits were made with a patchwork pattern that was knitted rather than sewn together, giving us a super streamlined take on the colorful effect.
At Michael Kors, the patchwork effect was applied to a leather trench coat in brown, red, and blue tones, working well with the ‘70s theme of the collection. Alberta Ferretti, Coach 1941, and Etro all also presented patchwork patterns on their runways.
#10. Paisley Prints
The paisley pattern has an odd history that could easily aid post-colonialist academics in explaining Edward Said’s concept of orientalism. The print was first used as an ornamental design in pre-Islamic Persia, and would go on to show up in textiles all over the Middle East, and Central and South Asia.
The teardrop-shaped print made it to Europe through fabrics imported from India in the 17th century. By the early 19th century, shawls embroidered with paisley were so popular that multiple weavers in the town of Paisley in Scotland found themselves solely dedicated to weaving these shawls.
This is how the pattern came to be known after a town in Scotland that only started producing it more than a thousand years after it had been first designed. Jump forward 300 years, and paisley is one of the fall/ winter 2019 print trends.
Joseph Altuzarra played with a few different prints this season, but paisley was his main one. Blouses covered in tight paisley were tucked into skirts covered in a larger paisley pattern. The pattern showed up primarily in autumnal colors on almost every type of garment imaginable, but perhaps most worth of recollection is a tight-fitting suit in dark gray covered with a subtle black paisley print.
There were large touches of paisley in the J.W. Anderson collection, showing up on slightly oversized belted sweaters. We also saw paisley show up in the print-happy collections of Prabal Gurung and Richard Quinn.
#11. Horizontal Stripes
Stripes are a timeless design that became an easy part of the fall 2019 pattern trends. The light-as-air collection presented at the Priscavera show offered a shirt and a pair of trousers (thankfully not worn together) with horizontal stripes. Most interestingly, the black and white striped T-shirt was paired with matching black and white stripes gloves, giving the appearance of a long-sleeved Chanel-esque shirt from a distance.
J.W. Anderson presented a lot of different patterns (including quite a bit of plaid), but a striped long-sleeved tunic tied over a pleated skirt and trousers really caught our eye, since it was one of the more 2000s-inspired garments in the collection.
Marc Jacobs presented all manner of prints this season, including the cheetah print cape we’re all craving, but stripes in his collection are most worthy of a mention. A black and white striped dress somehow managed to transcend the pattern and look romantic, while a voluminous striped brown fur coat had us all gagging.
#12. Slogans and Phrases
Politics were heavy on everyone’s minds, and that was reflected in the winter 2019-2020 print trends. While surely there were some of the typical fashion and brand slogans we are all used to, the words that really stood out to us had to do with world’s current events.
Let’s start with Vivienne Westwood, whose fall/ winter show was half-runways and half-Greenpeace demonstration. The main slogans of the show were anti-consumerist and anti-climate change, including “we sold our soul for consumption,” “politicians R criminals,” “bankers R evil,” and “what is good for the planet is good for the economy.”
The show at Jeremy Scott was just as political, but significantly more conceptual. Models in all black and white wore outfits covered in headlines taken from the New York Post, in a biting critique of the real “fake news.”
Standing away from the brands making political statements is the always fantastical Valentino. Pierpaolo Piccioli commissioned three young poets to contribute to a poetry book given out to the show’s attendees, and then used phrases from the poems on the garments themselves. Most weren’t visible during the show, but one sentiment that was presented front and center was the dreamy suggestion, “There’s a forever beyond the sky. I think we should go there tonight.”
#13. Argyle Patterns
Though not quite as common as plaid, argyle is a famous tartan pattern associated with Scottish highlanders and the Campbell clan of Argyll county in Scotland. It’s a sort of shifted plaid pattern, a series of overlapping lines that create a diamond motif. It became popular outside of Scotland after World War II, particularly as a pattern for knitwear. Knits are absolutely a trend this season, so this also became one of the fall 2019 pattern trends.
Naturally, there was a bit of argyle in different colors at Pringle of Scotland. The cashmere knitwear brand, established in 1815, is actually responsible for the popularization of the pattern in sweaters, so it was only fitting.
The argyle pattern was perfect for some of the geek chic looks at Gucci, including sweaters and mini dresses. We saw argyle pattern on knitted items at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Margaret Howell, and Y/Project, as well.
If you’re the reserved yet fashionable type, the fall/ winter 2019-2020 print trends are going to give you a hankering for houndstooth. This black and white pattern is a classic with which you cannot fail, and we absolutely loved it on all the coats this season.
There was all manner of houndstooth at Chanel, of course. For those who prefer a staple, the houndstooth trench coat that opened up the show will be right up your alley, but if you like a hint of drama opt for a pair of houndstooth trousers instead.
At Richard Quinn, the houndstooth print on a jacket and skirt combo was blown up, giving us a new perspective on what is normally a busy print. If you’re really into breaking rules, the red and white houndstooth at Area is definitely worth trying, especially if you’re ready to combine it with another garment with black and white houndstooth.
#15. British Plaid
Plaid prints came to us for the fall 2019 print trends from all over the world, but from UK-based designers most of all, as they wanted to refer back to British and Scottish motifs in their prints. This print is heavily associated with warm fabrics, whether it be the Scottish tartan cloth or a lumberjack coat, so it’s a lovely addition to autumn. It also happens to work extremely well with all of the ‘90s throwbacks we’ve seen this season.
There was plenty of Burberry’s signature tan plaid, so it’s almost not worth mentioning. A uniquely modern take on plaid showed up at the Rejina Pyo show, where the pattern came in a turquoise green color on a skirt and on a trench coat. It showed how brighter colors could liven up a more traditional pattern and design.
Punk and grunge takes on plaid came from labels known for this kind of styling: Vivienne Westwood, R13, and boundary-pushing newcomer Marine Serre. Philipp Plein, Marni, and Thom Browne are just few of the other designers to play with plaid this season.
#16. Checked and Gingham Prints
If plaid is a little too ‘90s for you, checked and gingham patterns are another great classic autumn print to wear, especially in jackets and coats. Checked is the typical picnic blanket print, although something about black and colorful alternating squares actually screams Hot Topic emo. Gingham is similar, though it’s a pattern that also plays with hues through an overlayed woven technique.
The large checked pattern at MSGM, in particular, gave us some mid-2000s era emo/ goth vibes. What else could we think of, with the black & white, black & pink, and black & red combos? The pattern showed up the most on oversized sweaters and jackets, although our favorite iteration of it was as lining on a black blazer.
There was plenty of gingham patterning at Christian Dior on some of the restrained autumnal jackets and big skirts. At Loewe, a brown and gray chequered coat and a black and gray checked blazer both showed a larger iteration on the print that felt thoroughly modern.
Lastly, we gotta talk about the optical illusion effect that black and white checkers took on at Off-White, where circles of shifted checkers overlayed the main chequered pattern of blouses and shirts. Oh, and did we mention that the whole floor was checked?
Camouflage is one of the least surprising fall 2019 print trends. It’s a print we remember well from the mid and late ‘90s, and it also fits in well with a military theme that quite a few designers leaned into in their collections. A camouflage print won’t hide you anywhere in the urban setting most of us live in, but it does offer a feeling of readiness and protection that we can appreciate for the cooler seasons.
Let’s start with Palm Angles, who presented a bougie take on camo by combining it with a sort of Realtree camo (a type of camo that features realistic autumn leaf photos so hunters can better blend in) that also included Versace-esque chains and other golden luxury accessories.
The camo print at Miu Miu was plentiful, as well. In addition to using it on standard winter fare-like coats, sweaters, and scarves, Miuccia Prada also used it on knitted cardigans, shorts, capes, fall 2019 shoes, and the fall 2019 bag trends.
The ‘90s-inspired collection at R13 was all about mixing and matching, with camouflage jackets worn over floral dresses. Sandy Liang, John Elliott, and Nicole Miller are a few of the other designers that used camo print notably in their collections.
#18. Polka Dots
Polka dots are a print that is as cute and quaint as can be. It gave a refreshingly light feel, especially amongst all of the more intense fall 2019 fashion trends that made up this season. Feast your eyes on the cute polka dot winter 2019-2020 print trends, and perhaps you’ll find that they cheer you up!
Polka dots on ruffled black dresses in Jill Stuart’s collection gave us fond recollections of the mid-2000s popularity of Japanese gothic Lolita fashion – adorable with just a tinge of darkness. At Marni, the take on polka dots was wholly modern, with pixelated polka dots decorating long black dresses.
#19. Picturesque Landscape Prints
Wearing imaginative landscape and scenery patterns on your clothes is perhaps the most creative and aesthetically pleasing of the fall/ winter 2019-2020 print trends, which will definitely show off your sophisticated taste and artistic side effortlessly. This is the print that will sell clothes, no matter how simplistic they appear to be, since such a sumptuous and meticulous print motif is powerful enough to turn every piece of clothing into a piece of art.
Chloe used romantic landscape patterns in different colors on a number of dresses and tops, among which the white dress with the blue patterns is our favorite. Burberry took the idea to a whole new level combining landscape motifs with architectural design patterns.
We also saw extremely busy landscape patterns at Eckhaus Latta, lush forest-inspired prints at Bevza, while Dior kept things more tropical and summer-ready.
Animal Prints for Fall 2019
Whereas last season animal prints as a whole constituted a trend, for the fall/ winter 2019-2020 print trends each print counts as its own category. While prints like tiger and leopard are back as neutrals, designers also find ways to keep the prints fresh and new by adding colors and variations on them.
#20. Zebra Stripes
While the return of tiger and leopard prints was wholly expected, zebra prints in the fall 2019 pattern trends were a little surprising. A tight little zebra print dress with above-the-armpit cutouts at Proenza Schouler has been getting a ton of attention from all of the bloggers, as it was a wild spot of interest in a collection that was mostly solid fabrics.
3.1 Phillip Lim is another label to enhance a mostly print-free collection with two long and flowy offerings: a dress and a trench coat. An asymmetrical shoulder dress at Alice + Olivia was paired with zebra printed boots for some zebra on zebra action, but we actually preferred the glittery zebra pencil skirt that followed.
#21. Snakeskin Print
Even these days, there is still something illicitly luxurious about the snakeskin print. We certainly prefer the print to the real skin, of course, though often what seems like snakeskin is actually patterned leather. Either way, this particular animal print was popular in the fall 2019 pattern trends particularly for autumnal jackets and shoes.
The color of choice for snakeskin leather coats at LaQuan Smith was red and tan, and it’s worth noting that they were layered over leopard print dresses and tops in one of the key pattern mixing choices for the season. At Roberto Cavalli, similarly sleek snakeskin coats and blazers came in a light blue, instead.
#22. Tiger Stripes
Tiger print was one of the leading fall/ winter 2019-2020 print trends, so if we wanted to be totally comprehensive we would likely end up listing nearly every collection that was presented this season. Instead, here are our highlights for tiger print garments.
For the ultimate tiger print coat, you’d have to look to Shrimps, who presented a long fur coat printed with tiger stripes that was lined with black fur for that extra cozy touch. However, on the same runway a cloak covered in a tiger print and rose pattern is the item that actually stole our hearts.
We also loved the tiger print dresses, separates, and jumpsuits presented at Ulla Johnson. The deep orange shade that paired with the black stripes showed that tiger print could be extremely fall-inspired.
It’s also well worth mentioning the abstract, colorful take on tiger print that we saw on items at the Roberto Cavalli show. Coach 1941 and Paco Rabanne also presented their takes on tiger prints this season.
#23. Leopard Prints
While tiger print might be impressive, it is undeniable that leopard print is the sexiest of the animal prints. Something about the ultra-speedy spotted feline spells out imminent danger. While we already saw leopard on the runway last season, in the fall 2019 print trends it was much more intense, especially when it’d show up on fur coats or tight dresses.
Leopard print on satin garments was as elegant as can be at Zimmermann, with blouse and trouser or blouse and skirt combos in traditional leopard golden tones spelling perfection. A pair of leopard print shorts at Saint Laurent is the garment we all want for wilder autumn and winter nights out!
If you love the ‘70s theme that’s been ubiquitous this season, consider instead the leopard print flared trousers at Paco Rabanne or the belted golden wrap dress at Naeem Khan that was covered in a large leopard print.
Photos via Vogue