It's safe to say that the AW11 collections in London were all about print. Our eyes were bombarded from every side with a rich feast of colour and shape blended into graphic patterns, and it was exciting to see so many designers embracing the allure of prints. We were transfixed, so decided to put our art-historian hat on to discover what the inspirational pieces which may have inspired the London designers.
Three stand-out collections deserve a closer look: the amazing prints at Erdem, Jonathan Saunders and Mary Katrantzou.
We always have high expectations of Erdem's exquisite print designs, and this season their stunning beauty took on a new level of depth.
This statuesque column dress features an array of vibrant jewel tones; the velvet fabric adds to the rich depth of colour and gives the impression that different fabrics have somehow been burnt and fused together.
Monet's Reflections of Clouds on the Water
Nymphs Finding The Head Of Orpheus by John William Waterhouse
La Belle Dames Sans Merci by John William Waterhouse
This collection was breathtaking in it's simple, yet beautiful elegance, and Saunders' amazing use of colour. The incredible repeated floral prints and bird imagery had strong similarities to the William Morris aesthetic of the late 1800s, but the colour palette ensured the looks felt contemporary.
William Morris ceramic tiles from the late 19th Century
The Strawberry Thief by William Morris
Snakeshead by William Morris (1867)
An original 1930s dress pattern, which echoes the shape and prints of Jonathan Saunders AW11
Quite possibly the best collection of the week, Mary's designs were spectacular, each print a complex hybrid of artistic references, including the superlative extravagance of Fabergé eggs, traditional Oriental designs and Russian Orthodoxy.
This painting-within-a-print is a beautiful example of ancient Japanese artistry.
The combination of graphic shapes and floral designs call to mind the decadent interiors of Russian cathedrals...
The interior of St Basil's Cathedral, with its beautiful floral designs
Traditional Japanese painting and kimono fabric, a distinct inspiration for the collection.
The scene has officially been set: prints will be at the forefront of fashion for AW11, and this time around they are intricate, bold and entirely beautiful.