Mixed Mismatched Prints, Embelishments, Necklaces and Gangnam Style

My 82 year old mother phoned the other day to tell me the world is in a mess. The Spanish are protesting against austerity measures, Syrian refugees are fleeing to Jordan, American Embassies are being attacked and absolutely everyone seems to be rioting. I started thinking about all the suffering and hardship and wondered in the greater scheme of things, if it really mattered what I thought I or anyone else should be wearing next week. It seemed somewhat frivolous but as I thought about it more I thought maybe that is one of the roles of fashion, to help us escape, make us feel better and surround us with visually lovely and stimulating things. To bring colour and texture and interest to our lives and make us smile. It creates an outlet for our creativity and expresses our personalities and who we are.

With this in mind, I hope you love some of the things I have found this week.

Summer prints:

Summer prints so far seem to fall into the following categories:

1.Space/computer generated images

Cue Dress

Nicola Finetti dress at Meyer

2.Mono prints

Top and Skirt from Jigsaw

3.Small florals

Although I love the small little liberty type florals that are showing up on blouses, tops and simple dresses I think they can look a bit ‘little house on the prairie’. They are what we used to call ‘granny’ prints years ago and I think can only be worn by those under 40, maybe even younger, this time round. At my age I think they may indeed look too ‘granny’ on me. I love them when used together with other prints. Mixed prints in different sizes and textures look great when used together in the same colour tones. A floral print dress looks good with a geometric print cardigan for instance.It is a bit difficult to pull of and requires that the colours be very closely related in order to avoid looking as though you got dressed in the dark.

Belted floral top at Review

4.Realistic photographic florals

Floral tote bags at Meyer

Leona dress at Meyer

David Lawrence floral dress

5.Foulard/cravat /small geometric prints

Blouse from Zara

6.Prints that change across the width of the fabric. From a distance they look almost like a few prints have been used on the same garment but in fact the print is almost like a panel that changes from selvedge to selvedge

Karen Millen dress

8.Paisley type prints.

Paisley type print on teapots and tea cups at T2

Leona dress at Meyer

Charlie Brown paisley dress

7. Missoni inspired knits.

These don’t fall under the category of prints, they are more like textures that look good when mixed in with prints.

Missoni inspired clutch at David Jones

Textures and print from J Crew USA

Marcs floral dress and Alannah Hill cardigan.

Cue skirt, top and jacket

Witchery blouse and tulip skirt

Leona Edmiston shift dress

Leona Edmiston shift dress

Leona Edmiston’s florals are really beautiful and the prints are some of the nicest I’ve seen although the shifts dresses are two inches too short for me. The styles and prints seem more mature to me but the hem lengths say otherwise. If you are not too tall, they may be perfect for you!

French Connection floral top

When I had a wander around the underwear department in Meyer I was interested to see a few of the floral prints coming through on bras panties and slips. They look lovely and summery.

Calvin Klein

Floral bras and slip at Meyer

Computer generated prints on bras and panties


My fascination this week is with sew on jewels and embellishments. Prada, Miu Miu and Bottega Veneta have been showing a lot of geometric or cravat prints with large embellishments sewn onto them, usually in black or white against bright prints or on plains. I have been thinking that you could buy something in a lovely print or sew a garment yourself and then stitch on embellishments. You could also use a t shirt or jacket that could do with a bit of embellishing.Spirit Bead House in Chatswood have lots of beautiful sew on jewels.

Sew on Jewels from Spirit Beads

Prada F12

Prada F12

Bottega Veneta F12

Bottega Veneta F12

Embellishments from the Fall 12 collections.

Charlie Brown embellished top

Embellished peplum top from Zara

Embellished top from Zara

I made this embellished dress from McCall’s pattern M6102 using a geometric print cotton from Tessuti Fabrics in Chatswood and sew on jewels from Spirit Beads.

Embellished geometric print dress

Embellished dress detail

Veronica Maine silk skirt, t shirt with black plastic sew on jewels

Detail of sew on jewels from Spirit Beads

Jimmy Choo embellished clutch

I found this beautiful jeweled clutch on the Jimmy Choo website but at $ 6000 it’s a dream or half a small car!


I have been collecting pictures of necklaces I think will give the same effect as embellishments. I like the idea of wearing these necklaces with prints when they usually get worn with plains.

Peeptoe necklace

Antique gold/black Peeptoe necklace

Jet Antique gold Peeptoe necklace

J Crew necklace

Saba necklace

Diva necklace

Diva necklace

Embellished sandals from Sambag

Sambag sandals

Sambag sandals

Sambag sandals

Purple t shirt dress, Alannah Hill Cardigan, Bottega Veneta bag

On a complete aside that has nothing whatsoever to do with mature fashion but everything to do with feeling happy, I am fascinated by Gangnam Style and the way it has gone viral on you tube. The K-pop single by South Korean rapper PSY is full of humor, catchy rhythms and quirky dance moves. PSY is currently in New York and gave a live performance on the NBC Today show in the Rockefeller Plaza that was attended by hundreds of people who danced along with him. He actually performed the same song  twice, becoming the first person on the show ever to do that.I am continually amazed at this internet culture that goes viral so quickly. In 60 days PSY has gone from posting a short video on you tube to performing on the streets of New York. His catch phrase in ‘Dress Classy, Dance Cheesy’. Before my daughters start rolling their eyes at me, I know PSY has been around for a while but he is new to me ( and half of New York too apparently) and I think it is all great fun and very quirky and catchy!

Psy Gangnam Style

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5 Responses to Mixed Mismatched Prints, Embelishments, Necklaces and Gangnam Style

  1. BeaJay says:

    I like your thoughts on fashion and it’s role. I think looking good makes you feel good and can help in times of trouble.

  2. Marianne Isaacs says:

    alot of those rioters are miserble, and angry and often have a right to be . At the risk of sounding like a certain French queen who loved fashion and lost her head to the guillotine , I do think that having fun with colour and taking care with how you look is sometimes the only good thing (appart from staying alive ) that happens all day!! I am always amazed how much I am affected by how other people look and ist not about physiacla beauty , its about things looking interesting and well thought out.
    I really like your dress. I wonder if there is somewhere like that in Melbourne( to buy the beads from I mean)? If you are inrterested in how fashioncan affect histhory there is a wonderful book I read called” what Marie Antonette wore to the revolution” or something very simillar . It was fascinating and talked alot about Rose Bertin who really was the coutourier.

    • shirlcatts says:

      Thanks for the info on the book, it sounds so interesting, I’ll have a look for it. Spirit Beads is a bead shop with a very large range. Maybe you could look for a larger bead shop in Melbourne and see if they stock sew on embellishments.I hope you find them.

  3. Rosie says:

    I love the long sleeveless Prada coats and have been wondering how to translate this. Hmmm. I have some Missoni-like fabric (Black on coffee zig zag) and have been pondering making a sleeveless long dress, with a center split up to empire line semi fitted bust. To wear over a shirt and straight leg pants, or a long line dress. What do you think? Love you on Sew Tessuti blog btw! And this blog is great, I keep finding myself peeking in to see whats new. I’m 43 and share many of the concerns you raise here; what to wear, can I make it, does it work , is it even appropriate, is this ok, etc etc…
    Many thanks.

    • shirlcatts says:

      I absolutely love those tunics, they are being featured in so many fashion mags and shoots at the moment. I think what you have in mind sounds stunning and that it would be best to stick to the original Prada style as much as possible. A sleeveless split tunic over slim pants would be great.You could even add some black embellishments around the neckline, which as you know is my current obsession! If you decided to do a dress, I think Vogue V8764 has a Prada feel about it and is quite flattering.I have made it in linen before.Good luck with it and I will look out for it on the Tessuti blog!

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