This post may contain affiliate links.
Spring/ summer 2019 was the season of the print, with almost every designer embracing statement prints and patterns. Stylists were not shy to mix the spring/ summer 2019 prints and patterns together in outfits, so we saw some serious power clashing.
Many of the spring/ summer 2019 print trends came from a mixed affinity for travel, leisure and wistfulness towards more bohemian times, with this encompassing an abundance of tie-dye, paisley, and silk scarf patterns. Traditional spring and summertime prints like florals and butterflies also made an appearance, while animal prints, which have been trendy for a few seasons now, firmly remained so for the spring 2019 print trends as well.
Spring/ Summer 2019 Runway Print Trends: Contents
1. Tie-Dye Accents
2. Animal Prints
4. Feeling Wordy
5. Florals for Days
6. Polka Dots
7. Portraits and Photos
8. Silk Scarf Prints
10. Paisley Prints
11. Pop Art Motifs
12. It’s a Zoo Out There
14. Stripes Going Every Which Way
15. Baby Stripes
16. Star Prints
17. Abstract Painting
18. Architectural Patterns
19. Busy Ethnic Patterns
If you want to embrace the colorful and boho-chic side of the spring 2019, look no further than the tie-dye trend. We saw some designers use tie-dye motifs in an explicit nod to the ‘60s, while others found unique ways to use this fabric dyeing technique to achieve modern effects. Tie-dye was a big hit when it came to the prints we saw for the spring/ summer 2019 fashion trends, using both bright colors and pastels to play with an old fabric dyeing technique in all kinds of new and interesting ways.
Classic tie-dye T-shirts in blue came courtesy of Collina Strada and Paco Rabanne, while at Proenza Schouler and Tome, we saw tie-dyed denim dresses in the same calm color. R13 went full hippie with trippy rainbow tie-dyed jackets.
At Eckhaus Latta, tie-dyed jean trousers and jackets had a bit of a Rorschach effect. At Collina Strada, a softly tie-dyed bodysuit looked perfect for layering, although the choice to pair it with tie-dyed shorts was questionable to us.
Even at Dior we saw some tie-dye, which was used to tint the gorgeous silk fabric of some of the dresses. We also saw a touch of elegant tie-dye at Prada and No.21.
Animal prints have been having their moment all of winter, showing up in both expected and unexpected places, and in totally new silhouettes. It is lovely to see the animal prints continues into the spring/ summer 2019 print trends, especially with cheetah, zebra, and snakeskin patterns.
Of note is the mix of subtle and wilder takes on animal print at Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie show that did not question the fact that animal print will forever be sexy.
Dolce & Gabbana is a brand that never shies away from animal prints, and this year was no different, with leopard reigning. At Burberry, we even saw some Dalmatian print!
One of the more austere spring 2019 print trends was checked patterns, especially on jackets and tops, but it also showed up on dresses. Checks featured in a mixed pattern outfit worn by one of the models in the Veronica Beard show.
The most exquisite example comes from Oscar de la Renta, with a lovely off-the-shoulder checked dress in black and white. Shimmering checks made from glued-on rhinestones decorated a see-through top in the Christian Cowan collection. Checks were one of the spring 2019 patterns mixed in with florals on the Dries Van Noten runway.
Words are a powerful tool that many designers chose to wield for the spring/ summer 2019 print trends, especially on their more casual designs. While in past fashion seasons slogans would get political, this year they were definitely more on the silly side of things.
The two standouts are the “when did they kill bambi” from Burberry, and Ashley William’s “Retired and loving it” – two cheeky statements that in context, are also nonsensical.
At Dolce & Gabbana, two models walked the runway, matching with one in a suit and the other in a dress both covered in a black and white comic book print, with the word “glamour” showing up repeatedly. Matty Bovan’s spring collection was all about neon punk sensibilities, with the words emblazoned in black over the colorful clothing being hard to read.
The typical logos were also on show, with clothes from brands like House of Holland and Pyer Moss loudly proclaimings their origins.
If florals hadn’t been part of the spring 2019 print trends I would have rioted. Once the spring season rolls around, outfits covered in florals are the perfect way of celebrating, and with so many different ways of utilizing these vivacious prints, anyone can enjoy.
Listing all of the designers to make use of floral prints would be an unending tasks, but I’ll point out some of the more noteworthy designs. At Simone Rocha, for example, busy floral prints were combined with retro silhouettes and veils for a serious and austere effect.
Soft florals made an appearance as part of Rodarte’s timelessly feminine collection, pairing well with an abundance of tulle and lace. Erdem gave us a more serious spin on florals, using a black pattern to decorate colorful dresses and suits that were also on the conservative side when it came to design.
At Anna Sui, florals were used to decorate all manner of dresses, day suits, skirts, and scarves, primarily made of silk, in loose fits inspired by the grand bazaar in the film Kismet.
Polka dots are a fun design element that pairs wonderfully with spring garments. We saw both cute, slightly retro takes on polka dots in the spring 2019 print trends and some more modern uses that had dots splashed over items in clever ways.
At Dolce & Gabbana, Andrew Gn, and Celine, we saw large polka dot prints dotted over feminine silhouettes. There was even a touch of polka dots in the otherwise patternless Marc Jacobs collection, proving their femininity. Polka dots were more haphazard and less symmetrical at Yohji Yamamoto, Marni, and Chloe.
We saw oversized polka dots over solid fabrics at Audra, on garments such as suits and loose dresses in wearable summer styles. At Escada, polka dots were used to give a whimsical touch to serious skirt suits, while on the Rejina Pyo and Carolina Herrera runways, they graced dresses without taking away any of their glamour.
The spring 2019 prints and patterns were definitely iconic on many of the runways, but some of the ones that really stood out were the portraits, figures, and faces printed on some of the garments.
Old-timey cyclists graced the print of tops at Ports 1961. At Gucci, a pop-art style portrait was the main point of interest on sweatshirts, with a more modern take on photo prints also showing up at Toga. At Burberry, skirts were emblazoned with retro black and white prints, while at Simone Rocha, the prints were of painted portraits.
The most meaningful were the portraits of black children and families on tops, tunics, and dresses drawn by Derrick Adams for Pyer Moss. The collection was meant to imagine the African-American experience without the treat of racism, and as a result it was beautiful and touching.
There was a distinct bohemian and orientalist theme running through the spring 2019 print trends, with beautiful silk scarf prints being a large contributor.
My favorite example came from Marni, where boldly colored scarf-like fabrics were used to craft skirts and dresses. Models walked the runway of Erika Cavallini in autumn-colored dresses made of a scarf-like material, and decorated in a lovely silk scarf pattern.
At Loewe, Jonathan Anderson dressed models in dresses that were very explicitly scarf-inspired, with a dress made with a mix of scarf patterns ending with bits of fabrics looking like scarves that had come loose from the stitching, with a fringe and everything.
Butterflies made it to the spring 2019 patterns all over the runways, acting as a perfect complement to all of the floral prints that we saw. They showed up both as prints and appliqués, and set our hearts aflutter.
The Luisa Beccaria runway seemed to flutter with thousands of butterflies that decorated lively pastel dresses, in addition to other seasonal prints including a ton of florals. A very unique take on butterfly patterns came from Mary Katrantzou’s collection, which featured plastic-y dresses covered in hyper-realistic butterfly prints, giving the feel of a preserved butterfly collection.
The paisley pattern is associated with all kinds of exotic, far-off locals. Since wanderlust was a motif running through many of this season’s collection, paisley was a shoo-in for the spring/ summer 2019 pattern trends. The original paisley design comes from Persian artwork, but the name refers to the Scottish town where paisley printed fabrics were produced once the pattern became popular in the West.
At Etro, a colorful paisley print was used to decorate a more sporty surfer swimsuit and jacket, although it also showed up on dresses and other more classic designs. Isabel Marant’s travel-inspired collection brought to mind far-off bazaars and bustling markets with dresses made of paisley patterned fabrics in a bohemian style.
We also saw paisley show up on ‘60s-inspired designs at Peter Pilotto and Chloe.
Pop art is the art movement closely associated with Andy Warhol that scoffs at the snobbishness of fine art by taking mass and everyday objects and including them in artistic creations. The spring 2019 print trends included lots of different takes on mass culture, with all kinds of pop art prints.
Balenciaga gave us an ironically trashy take on pop art prints, with outfits covered in all kinds of casino and gambling-related paraphernalia including cards, dice, and poker chips assembled in a unique collage.
Mary Katrantzou’s 10th-anniversary collection was a self-referential one, with the final dresses being pure pop art, as they were printed with gorgeous perfume bottles – designs perfect for accentuating an hourglass figure.
In addition to the classical animal print, stylists also sent models on the runway in outfits covered in a literal animal prints, i.e. clothing covered in pictures of all kinds of animals. One of the most iconic takes from these summer 2019 print trends was a white dress at the Dolce & Gabbana show, covered in a farm animal print.
One of the most beautiful dresses at Valentino was printed with a symmetrical design of two storks facing one another. Fendi also gave us birds, especially on warm toned jackets, while giraffes added a playful touch to some of the garments on the runway of Arthur Arbesser.
Plaid and tartan fabrics are usually associated with more old-fashioned and conservative fashion, so it is a treat to see them become part of the spring/ summer 2019 prints and patterns in the hands of whimsical designers.
It was a conservative start to the Versace runway show, featuring sweaters, jackets, and skirts decorated in a sort of geometric plaid of squares with more squares inside them. Gucci gave us a take on glen plaid fabric in a ‘70s-cut suit, as well as in all kinds of separates both in men’s and women’s wear.
Solid stripes are one of those patterns that behave almost like a neutral, and as such they were plentiful in the spring 2019 print trends. There was a near even mixture of diagonal, horizontal, and vertical stripes gracing all kinds of runways.
It was all about clean diagonal stripes in solid black on white at the Dries Van Noten show, with this striking pattern showing up on dresses, tops, and skirts, occasionally on its own and occasionally paired with florals. Temperley London also gave us some diagonal stripes, as part of a collection that was otherwise mostly architectural, print-wise.
At Gucci, Alessandro Michele played fast and loose with all kinds of patterns, including a lot of horizontal stripes, especially on dresses, blouses, and other lighter offerings. At Loewe, vertical stripes took on a summery, bohemian vibe, as they showed up in earthy tones on scarf-like designs.
We saw plenty of solid stripes, but baby stripes also made a splash as part of the spring 2019 prints and patterns. Baby stripes refer to smaller stripes that are closer together, often in varying colors. These kinds of stripes are more festive and summery than their larger counterparts.
Particularly fun, multi-colored offerings showed up on tops, skirts, and even full outfits at J.W. Anderson, Y/Project, and Marques’ Almeida. We also saw some black and white options from Roland Mouret and Zero + Maria Cornejo.
Designers proclaimed to the world that women should shine like stars, and as such used these twinkling symbols in all kinds of iconic spring/ summer 2019 prints and patterns.
At Saint Laurent, large, colorful stars dotted jumpsuits, and jackets, while one particularly beautiful blue dress was dotted with silver stars. At Gucci, a busy star pattern decorated a pair of oversized pants, as part of a part-Bowie part-urban inspired look. We also enjoyed a busy golden star pattern on many of the outfits on the Paco Rabanne and Osman resort runways.
Is it just a child’s scribbles, or the work of a brilliant artist that must be scrutinized? No matter your perspective on abstract art, it is undeniable that various elements of it showed up on the runways, making it one of the spring 2019 print trends.
At Louis Vuitton, we saw colorful, haphazardly drawn splashes of paint decorating everything from jackets to blouses to pants, and even paired with less abstract prints on the same garment. At Mugler, the liquidy paintings of artist Samara Scott made for gorgeous prints on close-fitting, perfectly tailored dresses and skirts.
The Moschino runway show opened with white dresses and long jackets absolutely covered in large scribbles that extended to hosiery and even hats. This abstract use of print was striking, though it remains to see if it will become iconic.
With travel being a major spring trend, it was natural to see many a designer use city and architecture patterns to give that wanderlust touch to their collections. While in certain collections, these spring/ summer 2019 print trends appeared quite abstract, looking kind of mystical, in others you could clearly spot cities and buildings embellishing pants, blouses and dresses that looked so artistic.
At Prada, it’s a lovely landscape print with buildings and gardens in full bloom. Acne Studios and Akris used monochrome looks all covered with busy architecture patterns that looked too opulent to pass by.
Louis Vuitton combined this spring 2019 pattern trend with abstract motifs, while Alexander McQueen injected even more drama into the trend keeping it busy and earth-toned.
The spring/ summer 2019 print trends come to bring oriental tales to our wardrobes with the ethnic patterns reigning supreme on the runways. Intricate rug and coin patterns and ethnic floral motifs graced the collections of designers across the world beckoning to the bold out there that love wearing busy patterns from head to toe.
Ethnic patterns for spring 2019 looked quite delicate and on point at Y/Project, while Loewe made it wilder mixing and matching patches of fabrics in this print. Roberto Cavalli’s ethnic print interpretation was perhaps the most beautiful with coins in different colors and sizes utilized for the entire outfit composed of leggings and a coat-dress.
Photos via Vogue