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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.
Proenza Schouler
While not every collection Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez shows is marked by its prints, the CFDA Award-winning pair have churned out more noteworthy patterns over the past decade than we can count. The label pretty much single-handedly reintroduced the fashion crowd to tie-dye with its Spring 2010 collection; for Spring 2013, McCollough and Hernandez collaged and grommeted striking photo prints to gorgeous effect.
Designers Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis started earning major industry buzz back in 2008, when they used vintage Kenyan textiles to produce an ultra-colorful collection of one-of-a-kind skirts, tops and headscarves—all produced in fair trade workshops in Africa, no less. Since then, Beatty and Osterweis have gone on to experiment with tons of other graphic motifs, from Hawaiian florals to birds to even old-school cell phones.
Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi's masterful prints are editor favorites—and for good reason. Never ones to commit to any particular pattern for too long, the duo are constantly changing it up—one season, it's pastel pixels; the next, it's beautiful butterflies. Bonus points for their impressive wealth of inspirations, too—they've cited everyone from Jeff Koons to Virginia Woolf to Beatrix Potter as jumping-off points for specific collections.
Ever the romantic, Thakoon Panichgul never fails to impress us with his dreamy florals and whimsical wallpaper prints. He teamed up with artist Laurie Simmons (fun fact: she's Lena Dunham's mom!) on an offbeat pattern of roses sprouting legs for Spring 2009; for Spring 2013, he turned a cocktail dress into a beautiful birdcage. It's no wonder our First Lady's a fan!
Mother of Pearl
Each season, this Brit label's creative director Maia Norman teams up with a different artist, carefully translating their work into prints for her cultworthy, decidedly sporty collection. For Fall 2013, she paired up with taxidermist Polly Morgan to craft clothes covered in bees and parakeets; for Spring 2013, she covered trumpet skirts and scalloped shorts in Francesco Simeti's wallpaper prints.
At this point, it's almost unfair to ask any other designer to tackle a floral print, as Erdem Moralioglu so clearly owns the blossom. The Canadian-born designer's incorporated garden motifs into every single one of his collections to date, keeping his go-to graphic fresh by changing up his fabric selections and embellishments. Sometimes, his flowers appear backed on sheer, almost Gothic-looking black lace; occasionally, they're splashed on a practical white button-up or covering a floor-length sequined gown.
Clover Canyon
Designer Rozae Nichols produces and designs her label entirely in Los Angeles—but you almost wouldn't guess it from her frequently travel-inspired, always print-heavy collections. Recent patterns have drawn on the dusty roads of the Southwest U.S., Imperial Russia and '50s-era Cuba. And the best part? Clover Canyon's contemporary price point, which makes these unique clothes actually affordable.
Peter Pilotto
Designer Peter Pilotto is a veritable whiz with textiles, while his creative partner Christopher De Vos is a draping pro—so unsurprisingly, the pair's out-of-this-world collections emphasize both print and silhouette. Digital, often three-dimensional patterns are their signature, frequently splashed over showy ruffles and sharp, sculpted angles.
J. Crew
Fashion's favorite high-end high street brand offers dazzling graphic prints that are actually wearable—not to mention accessible. Whether via watercolor florals, exotic scarf prints or stripes paired with polka dots, the retailer's helped redefine the way most of the country wears (and styles) eye-popping patterns. Of course, it doesn't hurt that J.Crew's got perhaps the most stylish company prez ever (Jenna Lyons!) to show us how to wear it all.