Pre-fall 16 print trend: Cat lovers

cat board

Stella McCartney, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Gucci, Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, MSGM, MSGM, MSGM

The new (pre-)season has one big print story that’s a five-star gift for knitwear designers, T-shirt maker, plus anyone who fell in love with Kidult and who likes the cute and the quirky. Cat prints are having a moment and are an easy way to update tops, skirts, coats, dresses – in fact, just about anything. They’re also a great alternative to the more obvious allover leopard/tiger prints that are also key.

This trend is beyond commercial and is likely to be picked up with enthusiasm by the high street going into autumn and the following summer season. In many ways, it’s a trend with summer written all over it, especially for tween-through-youth shoppers. But that doesn’t mean it’s one you shouldn’t go near if you’re a bit older as there are plenty of ideas for adding a sophisticated edge.

So, think small- or medium-scale repeat prints, giant T-shirt graphics, and placement appliqués. The quirkier the placement the better, so if you want to stand out, then a position that looks like you’re fairly indifferent to the trend is spot-on (somewhere around the back just above the hem makes a suitably too-cool-to-care statement).

These modish moggies also come worked into fine- or medium-gauge knits, occasionally with typography too. And they’re even found in ultra-luxe embellished versions that require more than a few £s $s and €s-worth of beads, sequins and gilt thread.

But if cute is too, well, cutsie for you, there’s an alternative. Big cats are also on-trend and usually pictured in full roar. They have  a slightly retro-tacky edge that feels very 80s but is also 100% 2016.

And if you want to be truly on trend for 2016, the way forward is to combine your cat with florals, butterflies, birds, even snakes – in a kind of Disneyesque Duchess-meets-Star-meets-Kaa mash-up. Not one for minimalists or Scandi lovers…

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