Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Top Distinctive Designer Patterns

I think every fashion house aspires to create their own distinctive style that distinguishes them from everyone else. For those handful that have succeeded, the shapes, patterns and colours of their clothing transport you to an unmistakably identifiable universe. I get that from, say, Armani and Ralph Lauren, not so much from, say, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs.

However, other than the design of the clothes, some labels have made effective use of certain patterns that have become their calling card and it is these brands that are the subject of this blog post.

Etro paisley

I questioned whether to include this one in the list because it is not really so much a paisley pattern per se that distinguishes Etro, but really the eccentric combination of exotic colours and patterns. I hesitate to call the colours "loud", because unlike, say preppy brands like Ralph Lauren, Etro does not normally use bright primary colours. Instead, the label typically makes interesting use of nuanced tones like plum, olive green or mustard that resemble natural wildlife tones you might catch on a hi-definition nature Discovery Channel program. When you wear Etro, you will not be peacocking—you will actually look like a peacock.

Paul Smith coloured stripes

Though perhaps not a distinctive feature on every piece of clothing, Paul Smith’s multi-coloured UPC code has been increasingly used as the label’s emblem. Mr. Smith makes heavy use of the pattern on everything from accessories such as wallets and cuff links to the linings of suit jackets.

Missoni Chevron

The essence of Missoni can be summed up in two words: knits and chevron patterns. That’s all you need to know. Overall, this gaudy combination works a lot better for women than it does for the men's collection. But love it or loathe it, you can spot those Missoni knits from a mile away.

Versace baroque pattern

If there is one common element to the entire back catalogue of Versace collections, it is the use of baroque ornamental design that was once the defining feature of the brand. If you are into either the Holy Roman Empire or hip hop, this is the pattern for you.

Gucci monogram

Speaking of hip hop, everybody is familiar with the Gucci monogram. As well known as it may be, I would have to think that the monogram has been diluted by similar wannabes such as Guess Jeans, not to mention ubiquitous street-corner counterfeit products.

Louis Vuitton monogram

Perhaps the most well known of all designer patterns, the LV monogram sure ain’t cheap. The label is notorious for never going on sale which accounts for why it enjoys such skyhigh goodwill. The LV monogram is virtually synonymous with exclusivity and designer luxury. So go ahead: spend your month's salary on that LV briefcase you've been craving!

Burberry tartan

Kudos to Burberry for having done what Scottish clans only accomplished by centruies of war—develop their own tartan. The nova check, —as it is known by— instantly screams Burbbery, however not every consumer wants their clothing to scream what has arguably become a bit of a cliché.

Galliano newsprint

The Galliano newsprint could definitely not have been an intuitive direction for a designer label. In that sense, the print is distinctive and original in a way that other designer prints are not. Still, I would think that the aesthetics of newsprint remains at least somewhat questionable. Do you really want someone reading your underwear?

Ps Did you know that if you read the newsprint on the Galliano clothing it says “I love Hitler”? Just kidding.

-The Scandal