Graphic splash: Be bold and get on the grid

Heavy black lines and crisp, grid-like patterns created an Op Art effect in Dries Van Noten's spring collection. The clean black-and-white palette feels fresh and modern, with bold stripes, stark colors and strong silhouettes.

The idea is easy to work into a daily wardrobe, but remember: A little goes a long way. If you pair contrasting prints as Van Noten did on the runway, it's easy to wind up looking like a Magic Eye poster. Start with one patterned piece, or a piece with a graphic print covering just a portion of the garment.

Try a dress with a few thick stripes across the bottom à la Mary Quant, or throw a cropped, graphic-plaid jacket over a simple black dress. Or pair one graphic item with a strong, solid piece, such as black jeans or a solid, dark skirt. The graphic look should play out through the entire ensemble, in pieces with similar hard shapes and lines. In this case, slouchy and strong don't mix. Accent hard lines with a small splash of color such as a thin yellow belt or bright red sandals. You can also try the look more subtly with accessories. This season's hot trend in cage shoes has a similar graphic aesthetic and can add the same tough feeling as a bold pattern.

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