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Floral prints bloom on spring clothing

Spring is here, the grass is ris’, and fashion’s where the flowers is. Nature-inspired prints are blooming across women’s clothes this spring and summer.
Quinn Anglin models a floral blouse from Amelia Lee/Nest and Cradle.

Spring is here, the grass is ris’, and fashion’s where the flowers is.

Nature-inspired prints are blooming across women’s clothes this spring and summer. In particular, bigger, brighter, space-patterned florals are springing up on everything, from tops to dresses, even pants.

Khloe Campbell, Victoria fashion stylist and owner of Amelia Lee at 544 Yates St., said the florals are really part of a long-standing spring and summer tradition of nature-inspired prints.

“Nature-inspired patterns in spring and summer are a kind of classic,” Campbell said. “It’s always there.”

“But one season it will be birds everywhere, the next it might be owls, just specifically owls,” she said. “So there’s always a bit of nature out there.”

This year, nature is being invited in with tropical prints — things such as palm trees, butterflies and grasses. At the same time, big floral prints are a bit of a dramatic change-up this season.

“They are now coming in much bolder patterns,” said Campbell, who just last week reopened Amelia Lee with next-door retail neighbour Quinn Anglin of Nest and Cradle. Together, the two women are aiming for a collaborative, whole-life fashion shopping experience.

Campbell said bolder also explains why designers are opting for the bigger, spaced images on their patterns. So being nudged aside are dainty, “ditzy” patterns, those densely packed arrangements of designs across fabrics.

This season’s floral patterns offer large scale, near-portraits of various flowers, often in dramatically contrasting colours to the background.

Campbell said the latest boldness means the pastel colours of the past few seasons are still here. But they are also making room for splashes of almost raw colour.

“Last year, there was lots of the creamy, dreamy palettes,” Campbell said. “But this season there’s brighter hues, even jewel tones.”

Over at W&J Wilson, 1221 Government St., owner Catherine Thompson said the big floral patterns and nature prints are arriving in tandem with a kind of return to the 1970s days of maxi skirts and denim, even frayed denim.

“The ’70s are very big right now; it’s almost that ‘Boho’ look,” Thompson said.

While the ’70s might be a good look for the street, women who want to take the florals into the office or boardroom can make theirs more formal, say, with thin or skinny pants and a pair of heels.

Also, Thompson has been seeing lots of citrus yellow and mint green, “very important colours this season.”

Thompson and Campbell both said Japan has arrived. Designers from that country have started to stretch their wings in the world of cutting-edge fashion without losing sight of their roots.

Europeans, and the rest of the world for that matter, have noticed.

So kimonos and kimono-inspired cuts, things such as little belts on loose tops, are appearing.

But also Japanese patterns, such as cherry blossoms and other representations from natural tranquility, are appearing in designs by Italian, French and German designers.

“It’s either back to the ’70s or it’s nature, lots of things with leaves, flowers and trees,” Thompson said.

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