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Your Stylist: Bold prints are big with celebs like Alexa Chung

September 12, 2011 |  8:00 am

Is bigger always better? Well, judging by what we saw on a lot of runways for this fall as well as what’s robing the lithe figures of celebs like Alexa Chung and Fergie, big, bold prints on dresses are clearly covetable this  season. Dolcegabbana

Jilsander Chung wore a black and white bow print dress from Stella McCartney with a pair of glittery silver smoking slippers from Jimmy Choo while celebrating Fashion’s Night Out in New York last week.  She managed to look her quirky but elegant self despite the long length of the dress and lack of height some heels would have given her. Chung happens to be of model height and proportions, so sticking with a flat shoe didn’t detract from the look, partly because the shape of the shoe was really simple. If you’re doing a boldly printed long dress, wear shoes that are simple, with clean lines. Extra bows, bells, whistles and straps will turn the whole look into an optical illusion of discombobulated details. Giambattistavalli

Albertaferretti Fergie, who is several inches shorter than Chung, opted for Dolce and Gabbana’s star print mini dress for this year’s Teen Choice awards. The style worked on her toned frame, and the print didn’t have the chance to look over the top since there was hardly any fabric to begin with. As with any tight, short dress, don’t be tempted to add to the sassiness by throwing on a pair of knee-high zip-up boots. A solid colored ankle bootie will flatter the leg and better fit the edgy tone of a dress and print this daring.

Besides Stella McCartney and Dolce and Gabbana, plenty of other designers are going bold for fall. Jil Sander, Alberta Ferretti and Giambattista Valli are a few of the high-end designers doing strong patterns and prints on head-to-toe looks such as pants and a blouse as well as on long skirts and dresses.

Bold prints like these stand on their own and don't need any complicated hairstyles or accessories. But think about the style and cut of the dress as well as the print when putting together your whole look. Does it have an early '60s tone or is it more flowy boho? Something prim and reminiscent of the early '60s might call for upswept hair and a great cocktail ring. The boho frock would be best with a couple of bangles and a low, messy ponytail. Either look is going to make quite a statement that people can't help but remember.

-- Melissa Magsaysay


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Photos - Top left, Alexa Chung during Fashion's Night Out in New York; credit InStyle. Top right, Fergie at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards; credit Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Middle left, Jil Sander; credit Yannis Vlamos /

Middle right, Dolce and Gabbana; credit Yannis Vlamos /

Bottom left, Alberta Ferretti; credit Marcus Tondo /

Bottom right, Giambatista Valli; credit Yannis Vlamos /