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  (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)


(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Runway/Real way: How to wear soft, watercolour-like brush-stroke prints Add to ...

The artsy vibe of the spring/summer collections was expressed most beautifully at the Vera Wang show, which included ethereal dresses in brush-stroke motifs. A change in direction from the graphic patterns that have been popular for several seasons, these watercolour-like prints have a soft, contemporary feeling and are universally flattering thanks to their lack of hard lines.

1. The oversized scale of the brush stroke element in the Vera Wang look at far left is fashion-forward and a little tricky to wear. Look for a smaller version of a similar print on a muted pastel background.

2. Printed separates such as a statement skirt are more office-appropriate than a fully patterned dress, especially a piece that incorporates layers of sheer fabric.

3. Matching prints with prints requires a keen eye for styling. An easier approach is to pair a brush-stroke piece with pumps and a bag in a solid colour.

The details

Cardigan, $49.50 at Loft (www.loft.com). Pink Tartan top, $125 through www.pinktartan.com. Skirt, $199 at Tiger of Sweden (www.tigerofsweden.com). Hue tights, $16 at department stores and boutiques across Canada (visit www.hue.com for retailers). Expression shoes, $59 at Hudson’s Bay (www.thebay.com). Soixante Neuf necklace, $210, Liz Palacios earrings, $29.99 at Elle Hardware (www.ellehardware.com). Clutch, $185 at Banana Republic (www.bananarepublic.ca).

Styling by Odessa Paloma Parker. Hair and makeup by Cody Alain for TRESemmé Hair Care/M.A.C Cosmetics/ P1M.ca. Photographed on location at Bensimon Byrne (www.bensimonbyrne.com).

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