By Wendy Donahue, Tribune Newspapers
May 7, 2013
As deafening as AC/DC in the '80s, prints and patterns clashed over the past year like Metallica versus Megadeth, Blur versus Oasis, Mariah Carey versus Nicki Minaj.
This spring, it's safe even for Nana to open her eyes, uncover her ears and skip the Xanax. Designers are still amped up on flora, fauna and fruit. They're still riffing on dots, checks and stripes. But they've dialed down the overdubbing and reverb.
Versace's ditsy florals build to a jubilant chorus in the middle of a dress then fade out. Akris' reed motif strums more than screams. Gucci's soft English-garden florals sprout sonorously on dresses and pantsuits. Alexander McQueen's honeycomb dress buzzes but spares the sting.
Often, dresses modulate busy motifs with slashes of bright color or watercolor backdrops (3.1 Philip Lim, Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier). Monochromatic panels along the sides balance percussive prints. Lace piping (Peter Pilotto) or black borders (Mary Kantrantzou) sometimes bridge the verses.
Think less petal with a little metal — silver pumps or sandals harmonize nicely with these prints — and you'll sync beautifully with spring.
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