Designer Showdown: The 10 Princes (and Princesses) of Prints

While neutral basics are arguably the building blocks of any good wardrobe, nothing dazzles us like a super-cool print. Not only does an eye-catching designer pattern have the potential to make a whole outfit—not to mention a street style snapshot—but it's also a great, self-contained piece of fashion history. Prints are inherently linked to the specific season and label from which they came—and not in a "that's so last season" way, but rather in a "I'm so jealous you got your hands on Proenza's tropical florals when you had the chance!" kind of way. Simply put, original patterns are art—and art is always worth the investment, no?

Not all prints, however, are created equal. So we rounded up 10 designers who do patterns better than anyone else. Click through to check them out!

Mary Katrantzou

In just a few short years, this Greek-born Central Saint Martins grad has become one of London Fashion Week's hottest tickets. Her Spring 2011 collection, which featured prints inspired by architectural interiors, caught the attention of every major editor in the world—and Katrantzou's since gone on to create stunning patterns inspired by postage stamps, Fabergé eggs, eating utensils and more. And though a Mary Katrantzou original is priced well into the thousands, the designer's collaborated on more affordable printed wares with the likes of Topshop and Current/Elliott.

From left: Looks from Mary Katrantzou's Spring 2013, Fall 2012 and Spring 2011 collections, via CN Digital Studio