A pattern by nature is repetition in a predictable manner. They can be easily observed or they can be abstract and difficult to decipher such as in mathematics, science or language. In nature, visual patterns are typically chaotic without any obvious repetition, typically involving fractals, which exhibit a pattern that displays at every scale. If you look out your window right now you will most likely see a panoramic of individual elements and sequences that do not follow any sort of repetition.
There are some natural patterns such as waves which are created by the symmetries of rotation and reflection. Pattern will always have an underlying mathematical structure as they are defined by their regularities, as well as in science where theories try to explain and predict regularities based on determined or hypothetical patterns.
Symmetry can be a vital element of a pattern and is more common in nature than at first thought. When we walk we are following a symmetrical pattern of one leg and then the other, and then one and then the other and so on. Animals also usually move in a bilateral or mirror symmetry to allow for movement. If there was no pattern to their movement, they would probably never get to exactly where they intend to go, as they would be moving in an inconsequential order of limbs. Imagine moving the back right leg, then the front left, then the front right, then back to the back right and then the front left, it would be a mess of movement without really going anywhere. We as living beings have adapted our symmetrical way of movement as it has proven to be the most effective and efficient at getting us where we want to go, which is what we are constantly striving for or else parkour may be our movement method of choice.
Snowflakes are a great example of non-living natural patterns. Upon observation is it seen that they have six fold symmetry while each flake is unique.
Patterns in design and architecture have been around for a very long time. Some famous patterns include houndstooth, pinstripes, plaid, argyle and check. These follow a distinct repetition and while they originated at various time for various purposes, they have all become a part of tons of fashion elements worldwide.
Sometimes in this realm the lack of redundancy is the pattern. Abstract shapes and elements can create a composition that follows no specific repetition; this can sometimes be described as a “design” rather than a pattern, such as paisley. The famous kidney-shaped paisley came is from Iranian and Indian origin, but was named after the town of Paisley in West Scotland, where paisley designs were produced.
Here are some cool summer designs and patterns that evoke a different set of emotions or ideas. Some are bright and funky while others are darker and abstract. Which one is your favorite?
Tie-dyed Paisley Boho:
Source: Garcia Jeans
Mint Green Rose Garden:
Source: Miss Selfridge
Swimming Ladybugs That Lost Their Spots:
Source: My Theresa
Mix of classic patterns:
Source: Mod Cloth
Source: Matches Fashion