Heels & Picks: Getting into graphic prints

Jan. 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

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BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser

As a fashion and music blogger, it’s important to be up on the latest trends.

But what if you find yourself working on an album and a little bit behind? No worries — that’s Hawaiian style; a little late and a little laid back.

The way I dress, however, is anything but Hawaiian. I aim for a more classic look with a punk edge, peppered with oddball.

The trend I’ve fallen for lately is graphic print skirts and dresses, which actually made its debut last fall. Intricate, bold and feminine, graphic print skirts and dresses are just the statement piece you need for a special event, night out or even a business meeting.

Even better, this look is already finding its way onto sales racks, which as us fashionistas know, is great for the pocketbook.

Here are my top four graphic print pieces for 2014 — some I own, while others are still on my wish list.

Graphic Pencil Skirt (Forever 21)

After Christmas, the sales are out of control. Leading up to Christmas, the sales are out of control.

The author in her Forever 21 graphic print pencil skirt with Jessica Smith, left, and Bianca Salazar. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

The author in her Forever 21 graphic print pencil skirt with Jessica Smith, left, and Bianca Salazar. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

This is something I’ve learned over the years, but I still never seem to be fully prepared for all the awesome deals.

On Jan. 2, I hit Forever 21 with my little sister, who was visiting from Canada. She’s a high-class punk; a fashion designer who teaches sewing classes and an excellent combination for a shopping partner. We intended to stop by and exchange a skirt for her (Santa was a little off on the sizing), but then we found the sales rack. Slashed prices, plus an extra 30% off.

Uh-oh.

As we all know, Forever 21 is not expensive to begin with. So when I found a stellar graphic print pencil skirt in gold, black and white, I was pleased to also discover a $10 price tag. Score.

This skirt is a statement piece, and in my experience, a conversation starter. The print is ambiguous; it falls somewhere in the mix of Egyptian and Gilded Age, which is to say Cleopatra meets the Great Gatsby.

As any Forever 21 aficionado will tell you, the cut of some items can be dicey. This one falls into the winner category, with a perfect fine cut that sits well on the figure. Be prepared to see me at a lot of events in this skirt.

Giana Scroll Jacquard Dress (Herve Leger)

The Giana Scroll Jacquard Dress. (Courtesy Herve Leger)

The Giana Scroll Jacquard Dress. (Courtesy Herve Leger)

Did I just go Leger on you? I sure did.

Le sigh. We love Herver Leger, don’t we ladies?

A favorite, go-to designer for pretty much every celebrity on the planet, the signature Herver Leger bandage dress is popular for a reason. Those dresses hug a woman’s curves in the most incredible way and they look FANTASTIC.

I ended up wearing a couple of Herve Leger dresses this fall; when I put one on and looked in the mirror, I gasped. And then I looked at the price tag and gasped again. Tres cher, mes amies.

Depending on your budget, there is hope at the end of the Herve tunnel, dear shopper. Online shopping sites offer this designer’s wares at much more reasonable prices.

Then again, right now at the Herve Leger website, you can snag yourself a stunning, gold, graphic print Giana Scroll Jacquard Dress for, ahem, less than $2,000. And that’s a deal.

Diana Dress (Klux 7)

I have a goal. My goal is to see every dress in the world. And try on the good ones.

The Diana. (Courtesy Klux 7)

The Diana. (Courtesy Klux 7)

It’s a lofty goal, but thankfully one made more feasible by fashion vortexes like Instagram. You know, the little photo website my boyfriend says is just a fad and will never catch on.

While scrolling through Instagram the other day, I came across a dress that made my jaw drop. It may have also made me a tad dizzy from its overwhelming graphic pattern, but as any zebra knows, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I checked out the company, a clothing and bathing suit line called Klux 7. The dress is called Diana.

I’m always a sucker for a mini-dress, and lately I’ve been getting into mini-dresses with long sleeves. You know, to keep warm in winter!

The Diana dress is graphic in an nouveau way, with a print designed to highlight the small part of the female waist. Bold, gorgeous and definitely a statement piece, it would be easy to accessorize (go simple, as not to compete with the dress). This one is definitely on my wish list.

Graphic A-line Skirt (Joe Fresh)

I have a big family. Three sisters and a brother, plus all the husbands, wives, boyfriends, kids, parents and in-laws can all be found at a typical Smith family event. We also tend to have random extra “family” show up, like the great friend who played drums for you in 10th grade and the friend we all know who crashed his car and sparked the idea for a little song called “Kihei Town.” But that’s another story.

After a few Christmas holidays with an ever-growing family, we adults decided to go a different route. Rather than buying smaller gifts for everyone, we draw names and buy something really great for the person who’s name we pull.

This year, my older sister pulled my name, which is a score for her because I am REALLY easy to buy gifts for. Part of her package this year was a gorgeous, silver and black A-line graphic print skirt from a Canadian company called Joe Fresh.

The author, her broken ankle and a silver and black graphic skirt from Joe Fresh. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

The author, her broken ankle and a silver and black graphic skirt from Joe Fresh. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

Joe Fresh is known for having cool, unique pieces at decent prices. I have a pair of gold jeans I picked up from their Toronto store a few years ago and I love them.

This skirt is the perfect length to show some leg, while still being classy and demure. It’s flashy enough to work for a party or event, but not over the top. It pairs really well with a black crop top.

Now that I’ve given you the tools to rock this trend, go forth and conquer. And send me some photos!
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Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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