In the world of fashion, the only constant is change, and it seems that every designer dances (and creates) to the beat of their drum. Some are pushing for the deconstructed trend, others for pure elegance. Then there are those like Donatella Versace who hope minimalism never comes back in style, as if completely unaware that it is still a trend that reigns supreme. Finally, there is the bohemian trend, which, to the naked eye, is one that is out of the spotlight, but just like every other fashion movement, it is thriving and is beloved by its faithful audience.
Make no mistake, there is definitely a place for the bohemian trend in the fashion universe, you just have to know where to look. Everyone watches the runways, but what about resort collections, what about those who dominate the street style? Let’s dig a bit deeper and discover the true power of boho.
The bohemian trend has a long and proud history. According to Savoir Flair, bohemianism extends back as far as 1862, when the Westminster Review illustrated it as “simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art”. Then there was Effie Millais who defied the breakfast etiquette of the time with real flower accessories. Women like Queen Victoria’s daughter rejected the constricting corsets and demanded more rational attire. There was no choice but to let women literally breathe, and the bohemian style came to be.
Of course, when we think of boho and its more, so to say, recent history, we think about it in terms of movement rather than a trend, perhaps mostly due to Woodstock. The flared jeans, the colorful dresses, the hats, the excessive jewelry, the flower crowns, large belts, vests, fringes, head wraps and scarves – the photos are a true testament to what it meant to be bohemian. It was more than clothes; it was a form of rebellion, a state of mind.
The boho trend is not for everyone, it is only for those of truly free spirit who aren’t afraid of experimenting, dressing outside the box and showing their personality through their attire.
So, what does a typical boho lover wear these days? Well, in short, she wears clothes that are still heavily influenced by Woodstock fashion, albeit a tad more polished, chic and everyday appropriate. She isn’t afraid of rocking colorful kaftans, and not only at the beach paired with amazing designer swimwear, but also to a lunch and even a casual wedding – it’s her style and she owns it. She has always rocked her flared jeans, even when they weren’t popular, and her wardrobe never lacks at least one crochet bikini and a top that nonchalantly falls over one shoulder. She wears wedges, embellishes her jeans with floral embroidery and rocks a fringed crochet kimono.
She even knows how to adopt fast fashion renditions of trends and make them her own. Wide-leg pants in vertical stripes at Zara? Worry not, they won’t look mainstream on her. She’ll pair them with a floral shirt tied at the waist and accessorize it with multiple bangles and a woven tote. A true boho girl is one whose spirit cannot be contained, and that’s visible in the way she uses mainstream fashion and still looks different than everyone else. She can rock the popular playsuit, but her lack of heavy makeup, her messy beach waves and her quirky choice of footwear (like a pair of gipsy strappy flat sandals) will set her apart from the crowd.
What’s the final verdict?
An increasing number of people, including numerous celebrities, are embracing the boho trend. Why? Because designers aren’t oblivious to its significance, history and influence. Instead of shunning it, high-end brands are doing everything in their power to create bohemian-inspired pieces that are incredibly chic and sometimes don’t even seem that ‘bohemian’, but they are.
Bohemian chic is one of the latest variations of the cult trend, one that probably came as a result of the attempt to cater to a wider audience. It is visible in the resort collections which are full of color-blocking stripes and maxi dresses that exude carefree vibes, as well as in collections of such prominent designers as Saint Laurent and Chloe. The mainstream has spoken, and bohemian style isn’t going anywhere; in fact, we predict collections such as these are the mere beginning.
How to rock it
Granted, there are no rules – you are the creator of your style, it wouldn’t be bohemian if it were constricting, but there are some key elements that you should bear in mind. The key is in the connection with nature and spirituality, so the usage of such fabrics as linen, velvet, chiffon, silk, fur, suede, leather, denim and cotton is ‘mandatory’. Always be sure that you are comfortable and that your clothes allow you to move and feel free.
Don’t be afraid of accessories – in boho, the more the merrier. Of course, the color palette can be as lively or as earthy as you want it to be, just avoid neon hues reminiscent of the ‘80s and you’re safe. Mix and match prints, layer different textures – and simply be playful.
Finally, don’t forget that there is always the festival season, and you simply can’t afford not to rock your boho vibes there. So, even if you’re not a boho queen, you can play dress-up for that one occasion.
About the author:
Sophia Smith is Australian based beauty and style blogger. She is very passionate about latest fashion trends and graphic design projects. Sophia writes mostly in fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: LA Fashion, Viva Glam Magazine, Just Haves, How to Simplify and Carousel.