Tibi's Nelio Dot Print - Neiman Marcus
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Tibi’s Nelio Dot Print

Kristen Spaulding

September 1, 2013

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Tibi is a brand known for its bright colors and bold prints. Iconic symbols of the Big Apple took center stage in the Pre-Fall 2013 collection, and before that, New York-based designer Amy Smilovic showed a surrealist Schiaparelli-esque lobster for Resort. This Fall, Smilovic’s focus was on utility – from fit, to fabrication and print. “We started with traditional motifs such as dots and animal print,” says the designer.

Tibi Fall 2013
Tibi Fall 2013

Since layering was an overriding theme for the Fall collection, Smilovic took these traditional motifs and played with layers and shape-shifting to add fresh graphic interest. The Nelio dot print was the result of these natural, textured elements and it has quickly become an essential component of a versatile Fall wardrobe. “Finding ways to turn traditional objects into something new and exciting is always part of any Tibi collection,” says Smilovic.

The designer is looking for prints that tell a story. She enjoys seeing prints mixed together for a more daring, whimsical look but also strives to create prints that can look just as good with denim and a moto boot. “The trend for a while has been screaming individuality – but sometimes in the quest to be the loudest, everyone ends up looking the same.” As a result, Smilovic found herself searching for a more natural feel and incorporating textural elements like embroidery.

Backstage at Tibi Fall 2013.
Backstage at Tibi Fall 2013.

Although each season she is inspired by different artists and specific techniques – like color, saturation and definition. “It excites me how moods that inspire prints can swing so dramatically from year to year.” As she preps for her Spring 2014 show, next week, the designer says she is drawn to things with a bit of a natural distressed feel. “I like being able to see and feel the artist’s hand in a print.”

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