Sometimes a fashion term comes along and sticks like glue – Tribal is one of those trends that seems never to go away, and that’s because it’s a word we all use when something looks a bit ethnic inspired. But there’s more to this than meets the eye so I thought I’d take a closer look at some of summer’s finest and find out what they’re really all about – so you can impress your most fashionable friends with some nuggets of style knowledge (and even if you really couldn’t care less, which is fair enough, it’s a good way to while away a couple of minutes at work while you pretend to do ‘research’ – don’t deny it!)
The first one off the rails is the Love Label Jersey Wrap Dress – this falls under the Ikat which is a form of dying technique which usually incorporates triangular shapes and blurry graphic prints that look a bit like brush strokes. You’ll often find these prints South American and South East Asian cultures, these prints speak for themselves and look amazing with some block-colour statement necklaces or earrings (it’s a bit of a busy print to mix with other prints unless you’re feeling brave). Like the Ikat look? Then we’ve got the South Tribal Tunic which is super flattering and the Lipsy Printed Bodycon Dress too.
The other print that’s been really strong this season is the good old Aztec trend – you’ll have seen this absolutely everywhere (and if you’re a festival regular you’ll probably be sick of seeing it). Aztec originated from Mexico and it’s often used for bold nature inspired prints. It first started getting a modern twist in 2009 with the spring/summer catwalk show for Matthew Williamson and since then it’s been a perennial favourite. This print looks amazing with faux fur, leather and suede – I think this Love label Aztec Print Bodycon nails the look nicely.
Another print that surprisingly sneaks into the Tribal trend is Paisley – it’s inspired by Persia and the Sahara and it’s a good way to get the look without looking too obvious (e.g with the usual load of wooden bangles and beaded flip flops). This is a cool alternative that is still inspired by Desert Tribes and this Love Label Paisley jacket is the perfect way to do it. wear it alone or if you want to try the matchy matchy trend, add the matching pants – this is going to be a huge look for the rest of the year too so they’ll be a good investment buy.
Next up is tie-dye – this Sugar Hill Boutique Tie Dye Jersey Dress is a good example of how to wear it without looking too hippy-fied. There were lots of tie-dye techniques used for the Spring 2012 catwalks but the origins of the look date back as far as the Japanese Shibori in the 8th century so you’re wearing a bit of history!
And last but not least we reach one of the hottest trends for summer – the Aloha Print. This print was originally created in the 1930’s in Waikiki, and quickly became a surfers staple, and this sumer you’ll be seeing looks inspired by the original designs everywhere, but instead of the fashion police’s greatest enemy – the hawaiian shirt – it’s about bold floral prints and surfer inspired silhouettes. I love this Fever Delphone Printed Sundress, it’ll look so cute with retro sunglasses and wedge heels.
So there you have it, history, geography, style (and 5 minutes closer to home time if you’re reading this at work!)