Beauty & Fashion

Print mixing trend

Print mixing trend

Deeply inspired by nature, rich colour, beautiful patterns and luxurious fabrics, Umhlanga’s Kelly Botcher is using her range of women’s clothing, Ella Sol, to express her love and appreciation for print.

Having spent a great deal of time aboard working on yachts and, more recently as a merchandiser, Kelly’s desire to work with something that excited her and got her creative juices flowing peeked after having her daughter two years ago.

“I’ve always loved beautiful fabrics, colour and patterns and I found myself browsing for fabrics at every opportunity. I just knew I had to make my passion a reality after my daughter was born,” says Kelly.

Having worked with home décor and textiles for over eight years, Kelly says she was constantly drawn to fresh products, textures, interesting prints and quality workmanship.

“This work has allowed me the opportunity to visit some of the most vibrant markets in India and China where I am continuously inspired by new trends in the industry.”

Kelly launched her label, Ella Sol (named after her daughter) early last year. She showcased the range through social media and open days in and around Ballito and Umhlanga, but now, having joined forces with a friend, an online store is in the pipe line.

Kelly personally designs each garment, selects the fabric and, with the help of local seamstresses, the garments are put together. Her range includes a selection of sheer, metallic shimmer and vibrant prints which vary from rich and strikingly bold, to soft pastel and flowy. Seeing each print design as a piece of art, Kelly loves how print stirs up emotion, be it bold, bright and happy, soft and graceful or wild and free.

“I’m completely inspired by my surroundings. Magical droplets of water sprinkled on leaves and grass angels in the long grass inspire me. I am fascinated by the colour combinations in nature, the shapes and lines in reflections, natures movement and textures. I am drawn to the detail. Nature offers me endless inspiration.”

Kelly’s ‘how to guide’ to wearing print…


The easiest way to begin mixing prints is to replace your solid coloured top with a monochromatic simple pattern in that same colour. For example, a black and white stripe or navy and white polka dot.

Once you’ve replaced your navy top with a navy polka dot top, try mixing two prints with one unifying colour.  Remember that leopard print is a neutral, meaning it can replace other neutrals like Denim, brown, black.

After you’ve mastered co-ordinating two patterns with one colour, try adding another pattern. The easiest way to add a third pattern is by adding a monochromatic or neutral pattern. An example of this would be a floral print with navy base, navy with white polka dots, navy and white check.


The following combinations work well together:
Large stripe with a smaller stripe
Vertical stripes and horizontal stripes
Stripes and floral
Stripes and animal prints
Small stripes with bold patterns
Bold stripes with small patterns (Mix bold patterns with low-contrast patterns)
Floral print with polka dots
Leopard goes with almost everything for example try leopard and floral!
Polka dots and stripes

Scale is key (make one print dominant and the other compliment)
Match colours, not prints
The simpler and more graphic the prints, the easier they are to mix
Spread your prints out across your outfit
Break up the look with solids
Keep it simple

It’s never a good idea to mix Paisleys and rather steer clear from mixing bold stripes with bold patterns.

Small printed pieces or separates will have greater versatility.
Pair a printed accessory such as a colourful scarf, bag or belt with a neutral outfit.
Pair a printed head wrap with a stripe top or skirt. It’s a safe way to nail the trend without looking too busy.
If you are new to prints then start by incorporating classic prints, for example leopard print or palm print.

Get in touch:
@ella_sol_clothing on Instagram

Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Samantha Maber



Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) – July 2018

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