Trend spotting with Caroline Cecil.
(Editor's note: This post originally appeared under the title La Mode Textile: Tropical Prints on CarolineCecilTextiles.com; head over there for this and other incredible pieces on color trends, patterns, and inspiration)
Unless you’ve been living under a...leaf, you’ve noticed that tropical prints are everywhere. This time on our fashion textile trend series, LA MODE TEXTILE, we're taking a look at this exotic pattern category. Over the past few years they have risen in popularity across all categories - interiors, fashion apparel, photo styling, art. From the SS17 runways at New York Fashion Week, to Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2016 ad campaign, to trendy Instagram palm props and tropical wallpaper, iterations of this trend continue to flourish. With so much staying power, it inspired me to take a deeper look. In the below post I've outlined standouts, from modern adaptations back to Gauguin's Tahiti paintings.
2016: MODERN TROPICAL / LOUIS VUITTON CAMPAIGN
Louis Vuitton's 2016 handbag and accessory collection featured playful palm prints in a primary mix of red and blue. Sitting in the Modern Tropical vein, busy prints are cleaned up and palm fronds and are de-jungled with a stark white backdrop and their shadows as the only compliment.
2016: TROPICAL JUNGLE / KENZO x DISNEY EDITORIAL
To celebrate the launch of The Jungle Book, Kenzo and Disney collaborated on a line of luxury apparel. Pictured below, a W magazine editorial promoting the launch. Silhouettes feel inspired by 1950's Hawaii, with the modern twist of photo-real tropical prints that feel closer to graffiti art. Print compositions are dense, with bright pops of yellow, pink, and red catching the eye. To view the full collection look book, click here.
2016 : MONOCHROMATIC TROPICAL / INTERIORS
Monochromatic Tropical prints are enjoying a resurgence in interiors, ranging from wallpaper to fabric. Included in this is our very own CCT hand printed palm print, HUTAN, pictured below in teal. To learn more about this print, including colorways and fabric information, click here.
2016: TROPICAL BOTANICAL / MISS MOSS
South Africa based designer and blogger, Diana Moss, created an inspiring series of images fusing tropical and botanical print trends. Moss paired images of the resort collections with oversized botanical drawings. Hop over to missmoss.co to checkout the full series.
2014: ROUSSEAU TROPICAL / HERMÉS CAMPAIGN
Hermés immersed models and green accessories in a lush environment for their 2014 campaign, with palm fronds and ferns creating a dramatic jungle-like environment. Palm prints on a black ground make an appearance here, elevating the standard tropical print to a more clean and bold look. The floral motifs are oversized with large repeats adding a dramatic, Henri Rousseau inspired flavor.
In general, current uses of tropical prints are more clean and minimal, with open compositions of palm motifs on black or white grounds.
2014: NEW VINTAGE TROPICAL / DRIES VAN NOTEN
On the Dries Van Noten SS14 runway, densely patterned tropical prints covered menswear. Leaves overlap with floral motifs, with tops and bottoms often featuring matching prints. Again, we see a strong presence of black grounds but with the 1950's era vintage color palette.
1950: ALOHA SHIRTS
The iconic aloha shirt originated in Hawaii around in the 1930s but didn't become popular until the post war era of WWII. Originally created to sell to tourist as a souvenir, these fun exotic prints became popular in the 50s inspiring casual outfits in fashion, and wallpaper in interiors.
1940: BANANA LEAF TROPICAL / INTERIORS
Created in 1942 for the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper is widely recognized as one of the most iconic wallpapers of all time. Used in hotels worldwide, and by interior designers still to this day, this is one of the best known tropical prints of all time.
1890: GAUGUIN TAHITI PAINTINGS
Throughout time, exotic new worlds have been inspirational to artists and designers. One of the best examples of this is Gauguin's series of paintings from Tahiti. Dating back to the 1890's, this French post-Impressionist artist moved to Tahiti seeking new visual curiosities, and created a series of paintings cataloging the people and landscape that he found. From the rich colors, to printed textiles, to memorable faces, this painting series introduced many to an exotic new world. Over a century later, these works continue to inspire artists and designers seeking tropical inspirations.
1890: HENRI ROUSSEAU PAINTINGS
Another French post-Impressionist artist, Henri Rousseau, is best known for his jungle paintings. Unlike Gauguin, Rousseau never left France or saw a jungle. According to Wikipedia he drew inspiration from children's books and the botanical gardens in Paris. His truly brilliant imagination was able to construct a world from piecing experiences together. Rousseau's style was initially criticized for being child-like, but was later exhibited alongside Matisse and praised by Picasso himself.
To see more examples of the tropical print trend, click here to checkout our board on Pinterest.