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SS 2021: Top Prints & Patterns

Flower Festival

Florals are a staple in most Spring/Summer seasons. This time a total 1063 floral looks were featured on the runways. For SS21 we can see a focus on feminine, classical floral prints as seen in Erdem and Emilia Wickstead, opposed to new florals that capture the phygital realities of modern-day life. The classic florals twelve into the archives and have a nostalgic, toile de jouy-feel or even hand-painted effects. The heritage florals go hand-in-hand with the ongoing trend for #cottagecore aesthetics, which romanticizes the past and the life on the countryside. Regarding the other, more futurist and digital-feel of SS21 florals, Kenzo and Valentino are proposing floating enlarged flower prints or ones with ikat effect.

Broken Stripes

Livetrend data detected a total of 658 stripe-patterns during the SS21 fashion shows. Designers have been reworking their archives of stripes to create a more creative and charged stripes on stripes-look. From Adeam to Louis Vuitton, the superposed layering of stripes and combination of different stripe patterns, has been crucial to elevate this classic pattern for next season. Updating your striped staples with this patchwork-inspired narrative might be a clever solution to repurpose deadstock materials and produce creative best-sellers.

The Arts & Craft

Marni and Christopher Kane are taking the connection between art and fashion onto a next level this season. Coming from FW20 this trend is the depiction of individualist self-expression and creative sentiments.  Inspired by DIY-Art projects, that have been trending during lockdown, creativity is pushing the boundaries for this trend-pattern. A total number of 264 looks with artsy prints was featured during fashion week, a growth index of 82% compared to SS20. There is still a lot of opportunity within those art-inspired motifs. It is important to acknowledge the potential to invest in sustainable and innovative printing techniques for the execution of such arty print themes. 

Pinstripe's come back

One of the hottest trends for SS21 are Pinstripes. With a growth-index of 231% versus SS20, this classical tailoring pattern is spiking-up in the Spring/Summer collections. With Neo-Tailoring as an ongoing trend, updated commuter and home office styles continue to demand for classical timelessness. The business aesthetic of the Pinstripe is a great way to give comfortable and contemporary garments a more sophisticated office-appeal and satisfy those consumer needs. The comfort and reassurance that we can find within this classical tailoring pattern, makes Pinstripe a solid bet for the upcoming seasons. Take a look at Balmain and Dries van Noten for timeless yet creative pinstripe-solutions. 


Fendi and Marine Serre have reworked the idea of monogrammatic logo prints over the past seasons and the trend has grown steadily.  Those geometric prints have increased by 68% compared to SS20 and have been featured in 83 looks this runway-season. The Monogram-Branding trend seems to continue to have an appeal. Balmain and Marine Serre have opted for bold all-over and full-look interpretations, while Celine has presented a more quiet version of this trend. There are endless possibilities to explore the use of monogram-branding. 

Tie & Dye Revival

Tie & Dye has been a stable trend over the past seasons. However, SS21 is exploring a very poetic and soft interpretation of this aesthetic. It seems like the once colorful boho-dyes, are now focusing on a more natural, sustainable and calming story.  Tonal Acid-wash and ombré-prints with an overall tie&dye-effects are introducing an interesting faded appeal to garments. Blurred-out and with purposeful imperfections, we see this trend being transferred onto new materials. Those new materials include leather at Fendi or Denim at Y-Project. A more poetic Tie & Dye is a great way to update your best-sellers and it is easy to introduce into several product-groups. 

Cottage Gingham

Gingham is coming back, as announced by resort 2021 collections. With more classical country-side inspired interpretations, Philosophy di Lorenzo and Genny are citing comforting patterns that capture new consumer mindsets about self-sufficient life and a focus on heritage. While some brands are using the reassuring qualities of classical gingham prints, a little twist is proposed by Marina Moscone or N21 through colorful-mixes. With an abstractly painted interpretation of Gingham, Bally created an even more creative  interpretation of Gingham. Try classical gingham on edgy pieces and updated one for your basics.

Seaside Escapade

With travel bans and the idea of holiday vacations becoming a more distant one as we face a second lockdown, it comes as no surprise that an ocean-inspired theme has taken-over graphics and prints for SS21. Stella McCartney and Burberry are already capturing our escapist dream for seaside holidays with seashells and sea-creatures within their graphic assortment for SS21. This mood-enchanting print is answering to a more optimistic mindset and designers have opted for various mood-boosting colours and blue palettes to interpret these ocean-inspired themes. Versace worth a special note, presenting colourful patterns inspired by under-water with a digital edge. You definitely should integrate seaside-stories into your print-narratives for SS21.

The Faded

The important SS21 trend for sheer materials and layering is capturing an aery and dreamy sentiment. This feeling of escapism and phygital spheres has translated into prints as well. Subtle, as well as undefined, those shadow-like prints are covering up reality and are feeding into consumer’s imagination. This pattern interpret the way we are looking at the world from a window, through a filter, and how the external reality is projecting itself inside like a shadow. Fendi and Anton Belinsky are exploring various materials, such as sheers and lightweight fluids, and printing-techniques to create such a poetic narrative within the garments themselves.

Comforting or artsy

If we summarize, there are two omnipresent print narratives. There is a bold, optimistic and individualist influx compared to a more reassuring and nostalgic palette of printed textiles. The colorful arty themes for SS21 (+82% vs SS20) are translated into DIY-inspired doodle and graffiti motifs, new tie&dye and sea-life inspired visuals. These ocean-inspired theme include shells and sea-stars, which create an enthusiastic visual identity for your collections. A digital-edge is added to the top SS21 pattern trends via avatar-like, all-over monograms (+68% YOY).

Regarding the reassuring patterns, we can identify classic designs of florals, checks and stripes. In particular pinstripes have an index of growth of 230% versus SS20. Patchwork and Abstraction elevate those reoccurring nostalgic patterns to a more contemporary level for next summer. Opposed to this a more subtle and poetic element is proposed by new and more subtle interpretations of these new tie & dye techniques. Appealing to human emotion is key for next season and with new faded and shadow-like prints, different layers are created similar to the different layers of thoughts and reality that we nowadays face on a daily.