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!

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.

From left: Looks from Proenza Schouler's Spring 2013, Spring 2012 and Spring 2010 collections, via CN Digital Studio