Can you picture yourself in print?

The print explosion is on, after years when solid fabrics dominated textiles for clothes and patterns were confined to accessories such as scarves.

The reason may be as simple as the need for designers to cook up something that doesn't already exist in your wardrobe. But chances are it's more than that.

"Prints become popular when the shape of clothing is established and designers want to strengthen and embellish a strong fashion message," said Ju- lian Tomchin, former textile designer and now Bloomingdale's vice president.

For some designers, that's true, but for Norma Kamali, who has some of the best print clothes around, it's a reaction "to people simply assuming that I never did prints. Suddenly, prints started to attract my eye. And when the clothes were finally introduced, were the buyers shocked!"

Kamali, who started her print designs a year ago, likes the idea of small prints in large spaces, such as on a coat or dress, and large prints in confined areas. "It is important to remember to look in the mirror, to check the proportion of print and garment and of two prints used together. Mixing prints is dangerous," she said. "But then it is good to be flirting with danger."

Expect to find flowers sprouting on clothes of all shapes and dimensions in stores before the chill ends. "We will quickly overdose on prints ," warned Kamali, whose print selection includes squiggles and plaids as well as flowers. "Isn't that the wonderful way of the fashion business?"