There's no way to scroll through Instagram without seeing an animal print this season; but there's another pattern that's vying for our attention - the scarf print. Also known as the chain print, this AW18 trend has been inspired by none other than Her Majesty The Queen's off duty Balmoral look which always incorporates a silky scarf as an accessory. With The Queen on the FROW at Richard Quinn's AW18 London Fashion Wee show, the designer took the simple scarf and used it as inspiration for dresses and outerwear. The dresses had handkerchief hems, flowing silky silhouettes and were crammed full of vibrancy and colour. He wasn't alone in the silk scarf movement, with Parisienne designers like Marine Serre and Faustine Steinmetz showing patchwork scarf dresses and skirts. Japanese designer Toga also featured the print in their LFW collection, Jacquemus did in Paris, as well as Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace in Milan.
Credit from left to right: Richard Quinn (First View), Marine Serre (Indigital), Marine Serre (Indigital), Salvatore Ferragamo (Indigital), Faustine Steinmetz (Indigital), Salvatore Ferragamo (Indigital), Marine Serre (Indigital), Toga (Indigital), Versace (Indigital), Salvatore Ferragamo (Indigital)
Of course this means the print has filtered it's way down the chain to the high street, and of course Zara have knocked it out the park. After many days and hours of scouring the usual online haunts, I can report back that Zara do indeed have the best collection of scarf print garments out there, with dresses, skirts, jackets, blouses and sweatshirts all adorned in the multi colour silky prints. There is definitely something out there for everyone, whether you love a loud in your face print, or you're more of a print conservative. However, with this sort of bold style statement, there is always the danger that you don't end up wearing the print, but the print wears you. As someone who airs on the side of simplicity, it was important for me to balance out the print with block colours and neutrals. You want to be able to let the print shine, but not take over your look.
The easiest way I could do this was with pieces I already owned, and using a colour that I felt comfortable and confident in. Make sure your print of choice has a neutral colour that runs through it that you can match back to - mine was my go to - black. For my Zara chain print dress, I chose to pair it with a black H&M blazer with gold buttons. The black, straightaway neutralises the look, but the gold buttons match the opulence of the chain print. I wore orange suede Topshop mules to add a pop of colour - if you want to tone down the look a bit more, you can easily pair with black courts, or skin tone heels. This is a really easy look for an evening out, or even for occasion wear. To dress down the dress and make it more everyday, I wore a v neck knitted jumper over it and paired it with black ankle boots. Immediately the dress has a casual vibe, and the fancy factor is somewhat turned down. You could even chuck on a pair of white trainers and black biker jacket for the perfect autumnal outfit.
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