What do you see – A bat, a butterfly, or perhaps the unmistakable twirling inkblots from a certain Gnarls Barkley music video, circa 2006?

 The Rorschach Test

Whatever it is that you see, according to psychologists, it has the powerful potential to unlock the otherwise hidden intricacies of your inner psyche: be it your mental thought patterns, your deepest desires, or even your darkest fears.

 The Rorschach Test | Photography by Dandy Project

Created by Swiss Physiatrist Hermann Rorschach back in 1921, the inkblot test, formally known as Rorschach test, has, and still today, continues to divide the scientific community.

Whilst sceptics criticise its validity, others argue that our very interpretation of these symmetrical, minimal and enigmatic blots, is congruous with how we project meaning onto the world.

Dries Van Noten  | Spring 2011

Inspired by this psychology behind the print, a number of artisans have fused this concept with the world of design, resulting in rorschach-esque prints embedding their monochrome mark on the world fashion runways.

Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten adopted the motif in his 2011 spring collection, giving the ink-blot a whole new lease of life.

Alexander McQueen | 2011 Collection

British designer Alexander McQueen also paid homage to the splattered pattern in 2011, proving this captivating motif is equally as fashionable for womenswear.

Givenchy | 2015 Collection

Predicted as one of the biggest prints trends of 2016/17, a number of luxury brands such as Givenchy and Alexander Wang have brought back black and white minimalism with a graphical twist.

Alexander Wang | 2015 Collection

Whilst Givenchy gave a nod to Rorschach, Alexander Wang channelled his iconic monochrome minimalism into his 2015 collection. Hence, it comes as no surprise that this psychological explosion of repetition and block colours are a key trend forecast for Spring/Summer 16.

The Rorschach print is DIY friendly, fascinatingly controversial and brings something new to the table. As designers continue to experiment with this playful aesthetic, we look forward to seeing its debut for 2017.


Written by Maisie Prior

Edited by Christina Wright


Pink Studio (2016) Graphics S/S 2016 Mens and Womens Trend Forecast [Online] Available at http://Http://www.pinkstudio.nl/frontpage/graphics-ss-2016-mens-and-womens-trend-forecast/ [Accessed 26/5/16]

The Dandy Project

(2011) DIY: THE RORSCHACH INKBLOT JACKET [Online] Available at http://Http://www.thedandyproject.com/2011/01/page/2/ [Accessed 26/5/16]

The Ink Blot (2016) The Ink Blot Test [Online] Available at http://Http://theinkblot.com/ [Accessed 26/5/16]