23 Ways to Wear Patchwork Without Looking Folksy

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When one thinks of patchwork, they tend to think of quaint, folksy quilts pieced together by group of kindly grandmothers. But this spring, Proenza Schouler took the ancient technique (it dates back to the Egyptians!) and gave it a modern spin, fit for their cool, downtown-girl customer. By stitching together sections of leather, the result is a graphic mix that unites texture, pattern, and color. Drawing inspiration from that idea, patchwork pieces are a new way to easily achieve that perfect clash of tone and prints without having to figure out how exactly to mix and match separates. On a warm spring day, the 3.1 Phillip Lim's T-shirt dress — which features squares of pink and yellow rosettes — is a way to wear delicate florals without being overly feminine. Or take Acne's denim-on-denim sleeveless top: It layers shades of blue for a Mondrian-like effect that would lend itself to a sleek minimal outfit when paired with cropped black trousers. And if you want a more subtle way to wear the look, Jenni Kayne's popular d'Orsay flats come in a black-on-black version that mixes lizard and embossed leather to create a contrast of finishes. Click ahead to see all 23 ways to wear the look as you plan your wardrobe for a new season.

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