Hello how was your week? I had time this week to sit on the couch and soak in my More Beautiful book by Mark D. Sikes and it inspired what I already wanted to write about this week.. the resurgence of all things pretty in fashion and in home furnishings. Have you noticed it too?
It’s being called Grand Millennial style in home sector -the resurgence of florals, gingham, ruffles, scallops, quilted bits and painted furniture.. It’s been coming on big in the interiors front, but now it has fully trickled down to most clothing retailers for spring and summer with pretty, feminine patterns and florals, soft shapes, pale colors and romantic looks.
In clothing, and in home textiles, block print textiles- whose origins are centuries old from Rjasthan, India, have become very popular. The technique involves fabric printing with intricately carved wooden blocks and the NYTimes did a great piece on it here. The naive look of the repeated patterns is quite sweet..
Puff sleeves, squared collars, midi-lengths, gingham, woven, braided and quilted looks are all in this trend of innocent looks making a comeback. Things your mom or grandmother wore or had at home are looking fresh again.
Perhaps this is a kind of backlash to the last few years and the strife in politics and the world, but fashion trends usually happen after such things. Bottom line- people are looking for comfort, pretty and soft right now..I have to say, I do love it and Mark D. Sikes was ahead of everyone on all this.. I’m hugely inspired by his lovely rooms and want to wallpaper everything now!
Remember this bag Princess Diana carried? I believe it was a Pierre Deux, and even though I was a 14 year old, I wanted one really badly. I finally got one in blue with pink roses and wore it out! I know there have always been quilted bag sellers over the years- April Cornell and Vera Bradley, to name two, but now the ‘cool’ brands are selling them too.
The fabric (sometimes quilted), bag is officially back and it’s the anti-logo bag. It’s something anyone can have or even sew and for summer it’s soft, weighs nothing and is easy to travel with. Straw bags are darling, but they can often be tough to lug on a holiday..
This cloth tote is from SZ Blockprints at Anthropologie
This tote is by Loeffler Randall and is their Avery Floral Weekender. . Love the outer pocket.
This sweet shoulder bag is by Faithfull.
This little quilted tote by Antik Batik come-on a pretty blue version too.
This clutch is by Cleobella and comes in pink too.
Etsy has some shops with many variations on the quilted bag with block prints..This cute bag is one from this shop.
This Jaipur shop has more..and also darling bedcovers and baby quilts!!
I just was delivered this cute bag from Sezane, my favorite French retailer. It’s a weekender sized large travel tote. I honestly thought it was a handbag size..It’s VERY large. I love the print. Deciding on whether to keep or not..
Sezane has a lot of quilted bags like this, many currently sold out, but and makeup and toiletries bags if you’re looking for a sweet gift from France.
Some of the fun fashions coming from this trend…
Are you all familiar with DOEN? This is a fantastic California brand that works hard to support manufacturing processes that are fair in the U.S. and abroad and makes it a priority to work with women owned factories and businesses. More about them here. They have the loveliest things including children’s clothes. Love this Elba top.. part of their current Superbloom Sale.
This Anthro dress is so summer..This block print comes in other versions and colors.
I also love this Gingham Cover-up dress.
How about this Loeffler Randall Woven Tote with gingham scarf?
Comes in a chocolate and tan versions too..
This pink J. Crew dress is darling.
This beautiful dress is a cotton from India at Bloomies.
Emerson Fry has an India Collection with block printed fabrics. I love the blues in the Basalie Dress..
This Heirloom Dress is really cute.
I also love this pink dress that has a belt, but can double as a caftan.
I’m not usually a romper fan, but this version by Cleobella is fun.
Old Navy has some cotton versions of the block print look with this blue smocked tie shoulder top..
And this black Old Navy floral print tiered dress has that same feel..
J. Crew has some sweet shorts in Liberty prints.. I especially love this one. I’d pair it with a pretty white blouse.
Of course Tory Burch has a darling new sandal and her Summer ’21 line that mimics the popularity of all things woven and lattice.. It’s showing up in home decor and in clothes.
J. Crew also has their version of this lattice look in a cute tote in many colors..
Back to the cotton prints.. Mango has many block print type dresses and this easy dress in red and a dark blue that is a great summer throw on or beach dress for $59..
And they have this one..
And this cute gingham number..
Mango has braided Raffia Strapped Sandals -so chic.
J. Crew has many things in the new square neckline.. Their Cottage Dress comes in a few different prints..
More square neckline tops too..
Emerson Fry has the Laurent blouse also made in India.
I hope you found something you love. If not, you’ll at least notice these trends and especially appreciate the block prints that are from India. The authentic ones are quite beautiful!
While we are appreciating these beautiful textiles from India, (so much of the world’s beautiful products come from there), I can’t not mention the charities that are all still needing funds to help there with the terrible Covid crisis. Many families are suffering and have lost so much. Please consider helping if you are able.. Oxygen for India is one group delivering oxygen for free, International Medical Corps in on the ground helping in so may ways, and UNICEF is also helping with supplies.
Thanks so much,
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So much if this style seems a throw back to the 80’s and I love it! Reminds me of my near obsession with Princess Diana’s clothes (the ruffle neckline!) and Laura Ashley (which I drooled over). I have always loved block print and have some very old napkins and tablecloths. My diaper bag was a bright pink block print, quilted shoulder bag. I wore it out completely. I do love the loose flows dresses but I tend to look obese in them, but I just ordered a blue gingham tiered maxi skirt with actual waistband and matching spaghetti strap top to tuck in. I’m hoping that will be more flattering on me. Now I want a quilted bag again!
Marianne.. I think that is why I love it also! The Diana things and Laura Ashley. It truly was such an innocent age! That sounds like a way cuter diaper bag than I have ever seen. I do think the flow dresses have to be the right proportions or I have the same issue.. Your tiered skirt and spaghetti strap top sounds darling..You need a quilted bag to complete the look..LOL. xo
The heirloom dress is my favourite and the Mango gingham dress is very pretty too. Fabric handbags are the best for summer. They are pretty and lightweight and it seems like you can fit all sort of stuff into them. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Lorna I agree..Also I am looking for anything lighter weigh lately! I can’t stand lugging heavy bags, especially in warm weather. xo
Mary Ellen says
You have outdone yourself with so many wonderful picks!
I have been drooling over the Lara Sezane blouse. I have a few (ok more than a few) floral printed bags and I am glad to see they have made a comeback!
Hi Mary Ellen! Thank you.. it was fun investigating and researching. Love those Sezane things too.. You must get those floral bags out!! xo
I just loved this post. You’re right in my wheelhouse! I’ve been a fan of block print fabrics since high school (1971-74),
I love to wear Indian block print fabrics and have them sprinkled throughout the house as pillows and lampshades…heck, I’ve carried the same Pierre Dieux tote bag for ten years!
I just happily ordered the pink Everlane dress 💕
Thank you for reporting on a current trend that is actually old school…no doubt that beautiful fabrics and patterns are timeless.
Hi Stephane, Love that you have loved them since high school! I bet your home is lovely. I love when block prints are used throughout homes. Do you still have your Pierre Bag? That’s wonderful. You are not only ahead of all this, but clearly setting your own trends. I love that. xo
Sheila from the Lumcheon says
Great post with so many print summer dresses and bags. Especially nice to see the wide range in prices. Thanks.
Hi Sheila! Thanks so much.. I tried to have a range of prices! xo
Mary Ann Pickett says
For most of my life I have loved block prints for table linens, pillows, and bed linens. And now in clothing!! It’s so cool for summer. This is such a great post, Kim. Very well thought out and delivered!!
Mary Ann, You must have a pretty collection! Thanks so much. xo
LA CONTESSA says
HERE I AM………….I LOVE THAT FRENCH TOTE YOU HAD DELIVERED!USE IT FOR THE GROCERIES!!!!
I DO ADORE THE BLOCK PRINTS AND DO REMEMBER PRINCESS DIANA!
DID YOU SEE THE SPECIAL ON LAST NIGHT ABOUT HER DONE BY GAYLE KING?WELL< IT WAS DONE ON THE QUEEN BUT DIANA WAS THERE!!
KILLS ME THEY STILL MENTION CHARLES WASNOT IN LOVE WITH HER…………..PEOPLE THEY HAD CHILDREN!!!!THAT ISNOT OUR BUSINESS NOR DO WE NOR OTHERS SHOULD SPEAK ABOUT THAT WHICH WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT!IT"S ALL ASSUMED!
Those woven bags are copies of Bottega Veneta………..when you are as old as me EVERYTHING COMES BACK IN STYLE!
Elizabeth, had not thought of groceries for the tote! Oh how did I miss the Queen special?? I will investigate. Okay why mention the Charles thing? That was so sad and I hate to think of how she felt and he kids too.. I agree with you totally. Bottega Veneta is having a big comeback! Have you any of their things? They sure are lovely. xoxo
LA CONTESSA says
I have ONE BAG left which I gave to MY MOTHER……………….softest leather in a dark GREEN!
MY GIRLFRIEND MANAGED the S.F. STORE for a few years!!!!!!!
Since we worked for GUCCI we couldn’t carry BOTTEGA!
Wow I bet you wish you still had all those bags?
Some gorgeous dresses here Kim and I love the Sezane tote … I’m sure you’ll find a use for it. 😉
I’ve often seen people with gorgeous quilted bags and backpacks when we’ve been in the US but I was never sure where they were from. They always look so “summery”
A scarf tied to a basket or bag always evokes the same feeling in me.
I love block prints and floral prints although I haven’t worn them much recently… looking at these, maybe that will change!
I wore Laura Ashley dresses constantly in the 80’s and 90’s and have actually kept a few of my favourites. They’d be perfect for now if only they fit me! My daughter doesn’t really wear florals but I may suggest she tries them on, just to see.
The quality of Laura Ashley clothes and homeware, remained fairly constant I think and I was so sorry when they closed their stores. I have a great, grey check coat that I bought a couple of years ago, as well as gorgeous cushions and throws and furniture from them which I love and are all excellent quality.
The “brand” has been bought including their archives so it’ll be interesting to see how it develops, moving forward.
Thanks for all your hard work, researching this … another great post!
Rosemary, I think you are right, I can use the tote and maybe for Tahoe too. How wonderful you kept your Laura Ashley favorites! I bet the coat was quality. I wish I had mine! The workmanship things was good and I think recently they changed? Maybe now that someone bought their archives they will be resurrected and made in the U.K. again. I think that would be amazing. I hope you get your daughter to try a few of your pieces! Thanks again Rosemary! xo
Over the last few years , I found shopping for clothes in Laura Ashley a little uninspiring. Everything was very generic, although the quality was good for the price. Homeware remained excellent, (IMO) . Their clothes were just like everywhere else.
I thought their moment came when “prairie style” dresses became popular again and their pre owned vintage dresses were selling for fairly high prices. Somehow, still nothing unique or relevant appeared in their shops or online … so sad for such an iconic brand.
You really did your research on this post! Thanks for all the lovely dress ideas. I think I’m going to order that black and white one from Old Navy, so cute! I do love a good block print! Back in my first apartment I had a collection of actual printing blocks hanging on the wall. They were pretty interesting, and had been used to print fabric many years before I got my hands on them. I wonder why I got rid of them?
I’ve never had a quilted or any kind of fabric bag, they are light and versatile, guess I should add one to my collection. Although I don’t really enjoy switching out purses all that often, I’ll move to the straw this summer and it would be nice to have another lightweight option! Stop giving me ideas for more shopping!!
Hope you’re enjoying the weekend!
Heidi that is so cool you had blocks! I think that would be a cool art piece. Don’t you hate when you get rid of things or don’t know what happened to them? I have had a few things like that.. I Do love the quilted bags. I was just trying to throw some affordable options out there! I love that they are not a designer bag! Hope your weekend was nice! xo
Grandmillennial style is here and I’m not mad about it. Wallpaper, floral prints … dare I say chintz … bring it! I adore these quilted, floral bags … and remember Princess Diana’s bag so well. I’ve notice the Duchess of Cambridge wearing ruffled collars and I wonder if this is a nod to Diana. Flowy, floral dresses and blouses are welcome in my closet. Reminds me a bit of Laura Ashley’s heyday. As for India … its terribly sad and tragic what’s happening there. I’m happy to support them in any small way I can. Thank, Kim, for once again bring us amazing style with a side of compassion. xo
Juliet we are on the same page…My mom had chintz sofas and striped pink wallpaper in the 80s and it was fabulous. I love the ruffles and feminine details right now! All of this reminds me of Diana and a more innocent time. Loved all that..Thank you Juliet.
Loved this post. I adore block print anything for the home and body!! Unfortunately I can only pull it off in very small doses. I just love the trend on others and you look particularly darling in dresses. This was such a great post enjoyed every minute of it!!
Cindy thank you! I do love the the block prints in home decor so much too. I agree the print needs to be smaller I think also.xo