TREND The bad-boy look is back with black. But skull prints are set to add the spooky effect to your summer wardrobe, writes A.SHRIKUMAR

Surprisingly, this season has brought along a range of dark funk along with the usual bright shades. When girls can shine in yellow, orange, red and pink, why not boys in blocks of black? And pretty is no more the only word for prints. Apart from flower-power and polka dots, skull-pattern is also making bold style statements. Either as huge and on-the-face prints or as small motifs, the head and crossbones are all over the place -- on T-shirts, wrist bands, bandanas, studs and pendants.

With fashion designers showcasing skulls on the ramp and Bollywood glitterati sporting it , the skull has made a major comeback both at the global and local level. The trend has trickled down to the streets and stores of the Temple Town too. Whether in the plush fashion stores or the road-side shack, the skull printed T-shirts are moving off fast.

Skull T-shirts didn’t sell so well earlier. People found them ‘dull and drab’. Points out Balu, store-manager at Full On, located on Gokhale Road, “There were negative sentiments attached and children were not allowed to pick them.But now college goers follow film heroes and there are more takers for these designs,”

Says Vignesh, a collegian, “Simbu sported a skull tee in ‘Poda Podi’ and for nearly a month, most of my friends wore skull prints. It became a fad in the campus.” What used to be called the danger symbol is now a modish statement as it is given a stylish touch. The skull print even comes with an element of sheen and brightness. Though black remains the base, there are T-shirts with stone-studded and radium skull prints. “Most of these tees are sourced from Bangkok. The skull-print glows in the dark as it is neon or glazed-rubber. It adds to the spooky effect,” says Balu.

“Bandanas and head bands with pop-art influenced skull-pattern are hits among the youth. The head bands also come handy in summers,” says Rajkumar at Body Language store. “The bandanas are taken by the bikers. The skull prints also come in bright pink, green, fluorescent yellow coupled with floral motifs. Most people pick these for the shock value.”

Apart from clothes and fashion accessories, the skull has also become a common pattern on lifestyle products. There are ashtrays, wallets, key chains, calendars, car-stickers and cigarette lighters embossed with skull motifs.

“I have a fetish for the skull. It somehow gives a cool attitude and attracts attention. I have a collection of skull chains and pendants,” says David, a stylist working in a city salon. “Fashion is a phenomenon. It takes inspiration from the society. That’s how the symbol of revolution, the clenched fist became a fad in the 1960s. And now, the skull pattern has caught on.”

Fashionistas may also look up for replicas of designer skull-print collection online. Even T-shirt stores on the net, like myntra, and inkfruit feature skull tees under their ‘new arrivals’ section.