The heat is on

Previewing this summer's hottest looks

JUSTINE JAMIESON
Last updated 15:34 26/10/2012
geometric prints

80s FLASHBACK: Geometic prints give these Seduce Black pieces from The Rock Box Nelson rebellious flair.

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Fashion with Justine Jamieson

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Summer is screaming in at lightning pace and the shops are filling with a selection of fearless bold prints.

This summer the rulebook has been thrown out to make room for more rebellious flair with fashion.

You may think designers and stylists have gone nuts - and they may well have - but, when experimenting with art, or my kind of art, fashion, you have to think outside the square as this is when the magic happens.

Animal/reptile print:

Bring out your wild side with animal prints in metallic or bold colour.

Animal is a great going-out look - this season prefers leopard and snake skin and you will see colourful snakeskin bags, jewellery, glasses and shoes and plenty of colourful printed leopard and snake skin dresses in untraditional chiffon or other soft fabrics.

When teaming the colourful leopard pattern with another fabric, try a Flintstone-looking stripe in a classy black and white. There are also plenty of skinny soft cotton jeans in leopard this summer.

Floral print:

Floral prints seem to be in fashion forever. I remember my mum having a floral suit in the early 90s, and now floral is back in a huge way whether it be a bold tropical flower dress or a tiny repetitive floral pant or - one of the hottest looks this season - large floral-printed jackets or blazers. It seems every flower on this earth is printed on fabrics this summer. Don't be afraid to mix bold tropical prints with a wide, bright stripe or a soft, pastel floral with a thin stripe or polka dot for a darn-right cute look.

Paisley: Paisley is another print that has made a return to fashion and is a look that is at its best in silk. It looks truly elegant in 70s-inspired dresses, skirts or kimono tops. I love it in this season's pastels such as lilac and blue. When teaming paisley with another pattern, try small polka dots, soft floral or a thin tonal stripe.

Stripes: Do stripes ever go out of fashion? As far as I can remember, stripes in some way or form have been in forever. The nautical theme is showing again this year with navy and white, or you can choose from a vast selection of ultra bright colour alternating with black and/or white. Why not try to team two different stripes together, creating optical illusions and even zig-zag stripes. Alternatively, stripes go with lots of other patterns and prints; just choose wisely the width and colours.

Polka dots: Itsy, bitsy, cutesy, wootsy polka dot is one of my favourite patterns this season. It is extremely feminine and can look great in navy and white or the classic black and white. Team small polka dots with feminine floral or thin stripes; the bolder the polka dot, the bigger and bolder the teaming pattern should be.

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Geometric/abstract

From tangram-like patterns of triangles to zigzag, the bizarre collection of geometric prints on clothing and jewellery are in full swing. Outrageous borderline psychotic mixtures of fabrics and colour are electrifying the retail racks. Regardless of their reputation, geometric prints can be really flattering and disguise any problem areas by confusing the human eye. The striking neon or bold colour is huge in these 80s-inspired patterns. When teaming abstract and geometric print with another pattern, opt for a basic stripe or stick to a solid colour blocking. This is one style of pattern that you must be extremely careful with as there is a real risk of looking like a piñata.

There is a dramatic mix and match of prints this summer and it's pretty safe to say you can take your pick of a print and still be in style. So let your body be your canvas and choose garments that create an abstract masterpiece.

- Nelson

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