Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends

With the fashion shows staged during New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks officially over, we finally have time to really take in all the incredible looks showcased for our pleasure, knowing that too many have captivated our attention and our idea for a fall/winter wardrobe has grown tenfold already. Trends have been set and others fully ignored. Between plunging V necklines and thigh high slits, bug eyed sunglasses and velvet or leather materials used throughout, we have been given such a lovely combination of breathtaking looks that will define our fashion sense for quite a long time coming. We were pleasantly surprised with so many of the prints and patterns that made it onto the catwalk, falling in love with the layers and the textures, the cultural connotations and flowery accents. Every fashion house had something different to offer, a fashionable addition to our closets that encompassed an entirely different set of patterns and prints, setting all sorts of trends! We have already looked into the spring/ summer 2015 print trends, with so many of them making it into the fall/winter seasons as well. Below, we have rounded up the fall/ winter 2015-2016 print trends that come to make our fall styling much more creative and exciting!

Update: discover the new trend report here: Spring/ Summer 2016 Print Trends & Fall/ Winter 2016-2017 Print Trends

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends


Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #1: Houndstooth Patterning

The houndstooth look is an interesting one that was a major part of the Miu Miu collection presented on the final day of Paris Fashion Week. It originated in the Scottish lowlands as woven wool cloth, using a twill patterning to it. The first references to houndstooth in fashion were made by De Pinna in New York City, in 1885, from which point it began to appear in all types of collections. The brown version is used to create so many of the Miu Miu pieces for the fall/winter seasons, making it the official print of the brand for the final months of 2015.

Sonia Rykiel also shows a certain amount of love for the prints, using darker coloring to keep the contrasts to a minimum while bringing the focus to other parts of the outfits on some of the models. Ermanno Scervino loves his black and white and the houndstooth dresses and coats take up a good portion of the collection brought onto the catwalk, alongside his other masterpieces that are but a pleasure to behold. Houndstooth patterns look utterly feminine and sophisticated in the Carolina Herrera collection.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Houndstooth Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #2: Exotic Reptile Skin Motifs

Snakeskin and alligator skin prints are beautiful to behold as they have been used to make clothing for a very long time indeed. Both belong to the exotic reptile skin category, and have often been utilized to create handbags, footwear, belts, and fashion accessories. Today, it is very much a part of the latest in fashion fads, used to accent coats and create skirts, such as is the case with Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu label. From the red snakeskin jackets to the alligator skin dresses in an Oak Buff color that falls into the fall/ winter 2015-2016 color trends.

They come in exceptionally captivating colors as well, from bright sunshine yellow to the pretty lighter teal hue, black and white combinations and primary or secondary coloring that includes a true orange and a classic red. Dresses and skirts in snakeskin prints appear on the Chloe fashion show as well, while Marni proves the house adores its snakes as much as its warm plush fur. For Marni, the snakeskin appears in multiple colors, the teal being the best, while the material is used for both handbags and thick belts showing off a cinched in waist.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Reptile Skin Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #3: Abstract, Artistic and Kid Scribble Prints

Dolce & Gabbana is the fashion house that seems to love kid scribbles on their mini dresses and skirts, while Giorgio Armani offers us a wide array of choices in beautiful art deco and floral designs that are far from looking real. We have to saw that those childish drawings on the Dolce & Gabbana outfits were adorable and the idea to use such a print on the garments rather ingenious. It was a tribute to mothers everywhere and we can certainly see these pieces as becoming beautiful gifts for the upcoming Mother’s Day celebrations. Those absolutely sick Madonna prints from Dolce & Gabbana should also be mentioned in the category of the abstract and artistic patterns of the fall/ winter 2015-2016 print trends.

Antonio Marras includes abstract patterning that looks almost like a Rorschach blotted ink test as well, while rainbow colors create marble style looks for the house’s fans to enjoy. Emporio Armani brings abstract artistry to its garments as well, with psychedelic colors and almost boxier designs to some of the pieces. The best in this category has to be Giles from the London Fashion Week though with his watercolor abstracts and fun swirling prints.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Kid Scribble Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Artistic Abstract Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #4: Graphic and Op-Art Prints

In terms of abstract patterns, there are a few garments that also offer a bit of an optical illusion, such as the black and white pieces presented on the Emilio Pucci runway, appearing on thigh high boots and mini dresses. Nothing says optical illusions like the Byblos collection on the Milan Fashion Week, from the crop tops with the rounded appearance around the bust to the full length dresses that keep having one do a double take on each area looked at. Op-art prints also appeared a lot at the Jonathan Saunders and Tom Ford fashion shows, both of which brought a splash of color to the scene, while Karen Walker also offers a big portion of optical illusion patterns. Gorgeous graphic patterns in bright shades make an appearance in the Christian Dior fall collection as well.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Graphic Op-Art Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Graphic Op-Art Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #5: Leopard Prints

Animal prints are big for the fall/winter season in general, but it is the leopard that most designers opt to emulate on their coats and their dresses, but generally the outerwear. While Miu Miu prefers the white leopard as its inspiration, Louis Vuitton turns to darker coloring, where the spots appear to be water splatters on a dirty hood of a car. Though, even here we find a dress that matches the Miu Miu collection, despite being LV, a zip up mini dress that gives the model the right amount of feline attitude.

Saint Laurent offers a piece or two in the print as well, while yellow, white and black mark the pieces that include the leopard print with the smaller spots in the Kenzo line. The leopard prints appear heavily in the Roberto Cavalli collection, looking positively spectacular as the models saunter onto stage in midi skirts and mini dresses, while also appearing on pretty vests over flowing, billowing dresses. Just Cavalli brings a different touch to the classic look by using red, white and orange coloring against the black outlines of the spots.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Leopard Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #6: Plaid Pieces

Plaid is the American and Canadian name for the Scottish tartan patterns that literally dominated so many of the collections presented on the runway, this including the Paul & Joe label presented on the Paris Fashion Week. They are warm wool fabrics and Miu Miu also decided to capitalize on their pretty checked looks that literally have us thinking of Scots in the winter, wearing tartan garments to ward off the chill. Chloe brings long ankle length plaid coats to the runway, while Vivienne Westwood knows how to bring the pattern to a fairy tale world with her Grimm Brothers style line-up. Acne Studios used a whole lot of tweed with the same patterning, while Alexander Wang mixed black and red for those cozy pieces that seemed some of the only wearable pieces we saw on the runway.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Plaid Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #7: All Types of Stripes

Stripes are quite common among the fall 2015 collections presented on the different runways from Paris to Milan, New York to London. One of the biggest striped looks that we see on the runway is the use of pinstripes, a look that is especially intriguing on the Louis Vuitton peplum tops and skirts. Horizontal stripes with thicker stripes are also something we came to expect from all the different designer showcasing their pieces, seen on Miu Miu and Paul & Joe, Valentino’s black and white versions and Sonia Rykiel’s love for the metallic silver these days. Kenzo really took his stripes to another level when you put waves in them, combined dark blue hues with a bright yellow for maximum contrast and drew some of the lines in a sideways fashion.

Stripes went across and they went down in a vertical manner, they were cut off in the middle and continued a level below or they looked like sound waves from the radio. No matter how Kenzo did it, it looked spectacular. Salvatore Ferragamo of the Milan Fashion Week gives us beautiful horizontal and vertical stripes that take on contrasting colors, working perfectly with one another. Roberto Cavalli plays around with the waving stripes, while Oscar de la Renta brings broken lines to the stripy patterning on its cots, skirts, jackets, and suits

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Stripes

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Pinstripe Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #8: Word Prints

Word prints are a common enough trend, often appearing here and there on the runways, but none showing so much attention to it as Marc by Marc Jacobs, with the focus on the revolutionary phrases and bold wording that remind us of the Suffragette days or the Rastafarian movement. “Choice’ and “Solidarity’ are among the many printed words that appear throughout the collection, on scarves and pants, sleeves and gloves.

It is quite interesting to see whole quotes appear on designer fashions, but that is literally exactly what Dolce & Gabbana did with their collection for the season, speaking words of love in different languages. Versace uses its name on its garments, with the letters of the word “Versace’ strewn about in different colors, adorning dresses and sweaters, pantsuits and sheer tops. Philipp Plein brings in hashtags and sends out models with garments marked with #WARRIOR or #PLEIN.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Word Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #9: Gingham Patterns

Gingham patterning was all the rage during the spring/summer fashion shows, appearing on enticing and innovative design details that really had us thinking that those handkerchiefs and kitchen spreads can make for lovely garments. This time around, it was not Michael Kors that gave us these lovely samplings, but others like Marc Jacobs,Moncler Gamme Rouge, Fay and Paul & Joe that focused the attention on many an exciting feature.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Gingham Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #10: Crazy Checks

The checker board looks are a common enough ideal for the black and white combinations in particular. They appear on all forms of garments, but we fall for the Louis Vuitton look on the leather jacket every time. The checked looks were common enough, and when they were not in tartan patterning or gingham style, they were twill or just plain checker boards, kind of like those seen on the Moncler Gamme Rouge show in Paris. Since we’re talking about the crazy checked looks, let’s throw in the fact that Valentino loved combining the squared with the triangles, creating a whole new optical illusion with its skirts and dresses.

Acne Studios may not be as well-known as some of the other houses appearing on the Paris Fashion Week, but its fall/winter show is sure to grab a whole lot of attention, particularly when it comes to using rather intriguing checked prints. Emporio Armani utilizes perfect checks in a whole different manner, appearing to be in 3D as the skirts and jackets are presented to the captivated viewers who just cannot get enough of the brand’s collections. Furthermore, Roksanda Ilincic brings really warm looks to the runway, and among the swirls and the marble pieces, we find gems in the forms of checked patterns, almost like looking through square panes of glass. It is a beautiful look that we cannot help but love.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Checkered Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #11: Floral Prints

The floral designs that are printed or embroidered onto the garments presented on the fashion week are either in literal fashion or in more abstract designs, as seen on the Louis Vuitton runway show. Whether as a skirt or a jacket, the floral look always looks divine. The combinations with the floral patterns, albeit not as pronounced as with the spring/summer collections for 2015, are superb with impressive colors encompassing a wide range of shades.

Alexander McQueen’s rose prints in clearly contrasting colors are testament to this claim, looking delicious on the see-through dresses that cover everything but nothing at all. The Paul & Joe line features light blue and brown shades for its floral printed pieces, giving us lightweight dresses that look as lovely as they would feel against the skin. Here, we had both printed and embroidered versions of the floral pieces, from the more literal to the more abstract fields, on lacy tops and pretty cashmere pink skirt suits.

Psychedelic colors in floral prints are given to Valentino this season it appears as the label presents see-through dresses with lots and lots of interestingly designed flowers strewn across them in different patterns. However, no one does the floral prints better than Giambattista Valli this season, even if we do very much like Stella McCartney’s visions with it as well. Kenzo’s floral leggings really are quite pretty, while the rose prints all over the Dolce & Gabbana collection warm our hearts. John Richmond’s red and teal flowers look quite pretty, while Marni’s use of both flowers and leaves as prints adds a touch of wholesome sophistication.

Roberto Cavalli presents flowery embroidery and flower strewn dresses, abstract floral leaves on pants, as well as colorful designs on film strips. Others with almost entirely floral printed collections include Blugirl and Erdem, the latter literally having us fall in love with this type of print all over again. It certainly is nice to see flowering designs appear on the collections made for the seasons wherein every living plant begins to die out. There is a certain sense of hope that is inspired through it.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Floral Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Floral Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #12: Funky Animal Prints

While the garments may take on the skin of the animals, it is quite hilarious to see actual animal silhouettes appear on the runways, from Rahul Mishra’s birds of a feather to the butterflies that appeared on the Valentino and Elie Saab runways. We see Chinese dragons appear on Valentino’s runway, emblazoned across the chest and body of a sweater dress and a gauzy lace piece that falls to the floor, to the really sexy grey and black tiger print that takes form within the Saint Laurent fashion show.

Givenchy knows how to incorporate peacock feathers into the garments created, while John Galliano appears to have been inspired by fish and their scales these days. This includes having full-fledged fish swimming around on the dresses as if in an aquarium, while in other places they have swarmed together to create a more abstract design in a kaleidoscope of colors. Celine takes things up another notch and adds owls and foxes onto its shirts while also offering a white tiger print coat that falls to the knees.

Tiger prints could not look better than on the models John Richmond sends onto the catwalk, sashaying in skirt suits and coatdresses, pencil skirts and all. There is a goat that stares out from a sweater dress in the Emilio Pucci collection on the Milan Fashion Week runway, before a lion and a scorpion also appear, showing off parts of the constellation.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Animal Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Animal Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #13: Polka Dots

While this may not be the biggest print trend for the fall and winter seasons, we did end up seeing a whole lot of polka dots, including within the Saint Laurent collection’s line-up. Red and black tulle mini dresses were interesting pieces to behold, while the polka dotted see-through top towards the end offered more than a glimpse of skin. Kolor uses polka dots that are both big and small, on dresses and tops, in blue hues and grey and black. Maison Rabih Kairouz loves the use of white in its collection, bringing purplish pink polka dots to its shirts while they also appear here and there within the Emanuel Ungaro collection.

Polka dot prints were a major part of the spring and summer collection trends as well, taking on both the classy and the neo-modern combinations. We can say the same for the fall/winter 2015-2016 collections as well. At the end of the day, though, the king of polka dots is Bottega Veneta, with the colorful polka dotted trousers and tunics, vest and skirts, jackets and blouses, as well as pantsuits to finish it all off; the whole collection almost being made up of colorful or blue hued and white dotted prints.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Polka Dots

Fall/Winter Print Trend #14: Tribal Prints

For those with a love for tribal prints, Dsquared2 offered a wide selection, particularly in the legging business. Ethnic prints were very much in during the spring/summer collection as well, a trend that has carried over quite nicely, even if it does not manifest in the same manner. While Dsquared2 used a whole lot of the tribal prints, nothing beats Etro on this ground, wherein every piece offers an ethnic feel to it, particularly from the Mesopotamian area, a place, which few designers explore for inspirations.

While looking at the Just Cavalli collection you would not particularly say that they are tribal garments, there is a hint of something aboriginal going on here, from the prints to the accessories, the crazy colors and the uneven drawings. Anna Sui, on the other hand, brings Mongolian patterning to the modern woman’s wardrobe, using tribal prints to create a seamless transition between traditional and new age. Ethnic patterns make their way also into the new Burberry fall 2015 fashion line, making those pieces so busy and cool!

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Tribal Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trend #15: Fun and Bizarre Alternative Prints

While it may not be a big trend on the runway, Laura Biagiotti seemed to have been wholly inspired by Greek and Roman architecture, particularly the intricately carved pillars with their perfect designs and Godly effects. One of the craziest looks though is the human bodies entangling and the face silhouettes looking to the skies that have been the brainchild of Christopher Kane, utilized on all forms of dresses.

Perhaps the most notable user of the stars and constellations in the house’s collection for the fall and winter seasons is Emilio Pucci, with half the line-up appearing in either one horoscope sign or another, or even just as the stars and the moon and the planets from the night sky. It appears in dresses and cape coats, oversized sweater style long garments, as well as velvet shorts and thigh high boots, looking as beautiful as expected from an Emilio Pucci creation.

While it might not seem like these two prints match on another, Moschino seems to think they do and brings them to the catwalk in subsequent ordering, from the world of graffiti and hip hop to the world of the coolest cartoon characters around, featuring Sylvester and Taz, Porky the Pig and Tweety Bird. Of course, no Looney Toons collection would be complete without Elmer and Bugs Bunny himself!

We also love Karen Walker’s psychedelic clockface print appearing on a lovely mini dress, as well as those M.C. Escher-esque artistic prints that add so much spice to the entire collection.

Among the bizarre alternative prints for fall 2015 we should also mention those flirty lip patterns of Diane von Furstenberg, the lipstick motifs from Saint Laurent, as well as the vibrant mishmash of all sorts of creative patterns from the Stella Jean fall 2015 collection.

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Bizarre Alternative Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Zodiac Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Graffiti & Hip Hop Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Bizarre Alternative Patterns

Fall/ Winter 2015-2016 Print Trends: Bizarre Alternative Patterns

Like the fall 2015 trendy colors, the fall/ winter 2015-2016 print and pattern trends are also extremely diverse and cool trying to target a big army of fashion-forward women, giving them fresh ideas for making a big statement in the new season. We simply can’t wait to see these prints hit the fashion stores come the fall months!

Photos courtesy of Style.com

Written by Tamar Najarian
Tamar is a psychologist, teaching and heading into the business world with a prospective MBA. A silly lover of books and words, she generally loves to seek out new adventures, getting her toes wet and her hands dirty. Having moved to Armenia nearly two years ago, she feels like the world is at her fingertips and anything is possible so long as you take a step in that direction.