Micro Prints

We know what you're thinking: "Another print trend?" It's true, dear readers, they just keep on coming! Right when you thought you'd seen it all-from wild animal patterns to eye-popping digital designs-one more fantastic idea comes knocking on your closet door. This time, the motif is subtler, yet equally dazzling, and of microscopic proportions. From little lips to itsy-bitsy stars, petite prints are making a major statement this season, which explains why so many tastemakers-Diane Kruger, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, and Jessica Stam included-are wearing them, and more importantly, the reason they're featured in today's Trend Report!

The runways served up an impressive array of bite-size prints for the S/S 12 season; however, for the purpose of today's story, we'd like to focus on just two top-notch references: Nina Ricci and Miu Miu. At the former, designer Peter Copping collaborated with artist Zina de Plagny to create the micro-floral print that cloaked the Printed Pansy Silk Skirt ($1435), shown above. Amongst all the bold botanical patterns currently on the market, this small print offers a fresh way to introduce florals into your spring wardrobe. Meanwhile, at the Miu Miu show, Miuccia Prada showed a ladylike frock emblazoned with a wallpaper floral motif and paired with a tan lace cape jacket for a sweetly feminine outfit.

As evidenced by today's quartet of stylish women, microprints are making a lasting impression off the runways too! Both model/designer Annabelle Dexter-Jones and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld prove that a long-sleeve dress serves as the perfect canvas for such miniature patterns. For a dinner celebrating L'Officiel Hommes magazine in New York late last year, Dexter-Jones showed off her quirky sensibilities in a Prada dress festooned with kitschy little red lips from the Resort 12 collection. We particularly like the way she complemented the frock's playful spirit by opting for a red lip of her own and adding an Olympia Le Tan milk carton bag. From sultry lips to a galaxy of stars, Restoin-Roitfeld also looked picture-perfect at an art exhibition in New York last year wearing Dolce & Gabbana's Lace and Star Print Dress ($2325). The star print and semi-sheer lace detailing lend the dress a youthful yet subtly sexy look perfect for an evening out with the girls.

Of course, small motifs aren't just for whimsical types, they can be quite chic too-just look to Jessica Stam and Diane Kruger to see what we mean. Stam, snapped at the Roger Vivier Fashion's Night Out event, looked radiant in a Giambattista Valli clover-print cocktail dress from the Resort 12 collection. The jaw-dropping gradation of black clovers immediately captures your eye and adds visual interest to the overall look. It's also important to make note of Diane Kruger at the Chanel Couture show earlier this week; she wore the fashion house's Wool Cloth Vest (price upon request, 800.550.0005) and matching Wool Cloth Skirt (price upon request, 800.550.0005) from the Paris-Bombay Pre-Fall 12 collection. The actress expertly grounded her printed top and skirt combo with a pair of leather knee-high boots, giving the outfit an uptown-meets-downtown modernity.

If you find your wardrobe lacking in microprints or you simply want to add to your existing collection, we've got a bunch of utterly stylish options for you to try! The first two items on our list are perfect for floral lovers: TEXTILE Elizabeth and James' Austin Rose-Print Silk Shirt ($195) and Opening Ceremony's Pieced Scuba Dress ($598). Now, if you fancy yourself both a fashion girl and a foodie, chances are you'll be smitten with Coincidence & Chance's Fruit Print Strapless Dress ($49) and ASOS' Summer Dress in Fruit Print ($63)-we certainly are! And while Rebecca Taylor's Heart-Print Jersey Dress ($295) is a lovely date-night pick for Valentine's Day, Equipment's Star-Print Washed-Silk Crepe de Chine Shirt ($250) is a fitting choice for the office, especially when worn with a blazer and tailored trousers. However you decide to incorporate these adorable little prints into your wardrobe, we promise the result will be a very big hit!-Jessica Baker

Photos of Annabelle Dexter-Jones and Jessica Stam, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Photo of Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, courtesy of Splash; Photo of Diane Kruger, courtesy of Getty.

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