80s watercolor fashion dresses shirt molly ringwald

#ThrowbackThursday: A Look Back at the Watercolor Trend

Think the painterly prints trend is new? Think again! In this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, we take you through 4 decades in which watercolor-esque patterns reigned the runways. Check it out:

The 60s

Done in sweet A-line shapes, painted prints rose to popularity in the 1960s with dresses that were prim & adorable. We even saw Carrie Mulligan wear one in the movie An Education, which was set in this decade. Coming in powdery blue & pink florals and plaids, these frocks were so sweet that we would consider wearing them now!

60s watercolor fashion carrie mulligan an education interior decor

Robert Allen Fabric - Abstract Plaid - Cobalt
Robert Allen Fabric – Abstract Plaid – Cobalt
Duralee Fabric - 42354-41 Blue/Turquoise
Duralee Fabric – 42354-41 Blue/Turquoise
Duralee Fabric - 42358-11
Duralee Fabric – 42358-11
Tres Tintas Wallpaper - Memory 2042-3
Tres Tintas Wallpaper – Memory – 3

The 70s

The 70s saw a wide range of painterly patterns. Psychedelic wrap dresses that were far out, frocks with large-scale florals & maxis reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie (Olivia Newton John made it work!) found a home in many a woman’s closet.

1970s watercolor fashion dresses olivia newton john

Schumacher Fabric - Beauty Bark Print - Violet 174715
Schumacher Fabric – Beauty Bark Print – Violet
Clarke & Clarke Fabric - Evelina - Charcoal
Clarke & Clarke Fabric – Evelina – Charcoal
Robert Allen Fabric - Painted Flower - Meadow
Robert Allen Fabric – Painted Flower – Meadow

The 80s

This decade brought us faded versions of painterly patterns. Children of the 1980s will remember the burred floral legging & stirrup pant, made oh-so-popular by the infamous Molly Ringwald of Pretty in Pink. Both large and small scale prints in blossoms and geometrics were, like, totally radical.

80s watercolor fashion dresses shirt molly ringwald

Tres Tintas Wallpaper - Collage 2036-4
Tres Tintas Wallpaper – Collage – 4
Duralee Fabric - 41994-96 Red Pink
Duralee Fabric – 41994-96 Red Pink
Vervain Fabric - Giverny - Cassis 5034902
Vervain Fabric – Giverny – Cassis 5034902
Fabricut Fabric - Latour - Coral Garden 2078902
Fabricut Fabric – Latour – Coral Garden

The 90s

Fashion in the 90s brought a more abstract point of view to the watercolor look. From bustiers worn by iconic model Kate Moss to loose-fitting menswear-shaped shirts, many of the outfits looked as if they had been worn while painting a masterpiece.

90s watercolor fashion kate moss

Duralee Fabric - 42351-638 Raspberry/Green
Duralee Fabric – 42351 – Raspberry/Green
Groundworks Fabric - Edo Linen - Opal GWF-2814_710_0
Groundworks Fabric – Edo Linen – Opal
Robert Allen Fabric - Misty Floral - Iris
Robert Allen Fabric – Misty Floral – Iris
Robert Allen Fabric - Cloud Shadows - Hydrangea
Robert Allen Fabric – Cloud Shadows – Hydrangea

Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Related Articles:

How to Wear Watercolor Florals

From Runway to Home: 4 Ways to Decorate With Watercolor Prints

Trend Alert: Painterly Prints

Photo Sources:
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 /6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

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