Spring brings into bloom a feeling of freshness and natural, worldly elements that perfectly envelop your everyday style. Gone are the days of metallics, enter earthy essentials! A big trend to hit the 2008 fashion world is exotic cultural style. This worldly trend has been spotted all over runways from the African-inspired prints by Diane Von Furstenberg to a beautiful Mediterranean Caftan courtesy of Matthew Williamson. Key cultural elements from creatively inspiring places are brought to our fingertips with a wearable modern twist.
Ever been told you need more culture in your life? Here’s your chance, and what better place to start than your wardrobe? Keeping up with the exotic trend this season with an unabashed comprehension of the traditional clothes that inspire it will show your sophisticated view of the world. From designer racks to affordable digs, there is something everyone can buy for ethnic inspired, worldly style!
Tribal Africa was brought into mainstream fashion by incorporating exotic prints in subtle and occasionally bold prints, reminiscent of traditional African garb. Kente, traditionally worn by African royalty, is a complex design with weft float patterns, which originate inWest Africa. Top American designers like Diane Von Furstenberg integrated this intricate style to create a modern form graced with cultural significance. Head wraps, beading, feathers and African-inspired jewelry accentuate the look. Chunky jewelry in bright, bold colors, like the African bangle by Matthew Williamson ($190, www.net-a-porter.com), bring out the exotic within you and are perfect pieces for your spring and summer wardrobe. Find an affordable alternative at Forever 21 such as the Dotted Tribal Bangle for $4.80 or a large wooden bead necklace, $5.80.
Another ethnic print popular on springtime runways is Ikat. From Indonesia and Central Asian origin, these prints are created using unique dying technique. The final product is an inimitable design perfect for today’s worldly trend. Ikat inspired designs can be found on anything from scarves and belts, to flowing dresses and skirts. Ikat and Kente designs should be a happy cultural addition to your everyday wardrobe, and don’t necessarily have to break the bank. You can find a versatile Ikat printed scarf at Urban Outfitters for only $28. If you’re able to splurge on a designer choice, we recommend the Kente-inspired black and butter rum Arana dress, $650 Diane Von Furstenberg.
Caftan dresses are back with a cultural vengeance. Caftans were a traditionally male garment in the Eastern Mediterranean and are typically worn over pants in Pakistan and India. The signature Caftan look of long, wide sleeves and an open front is given a modern twist for today’s sophisticated fashionista. No longer just for our male counterparts, they are made in many feminine variations that suit just about any body type. Worn over swimsuits or with your favorite skinny jeans, the Caftan is now a modern form for today’s style-conscious woman. We recommend Diane Von Furstenberg’s Kleio Caftan Dress, $245 net-a-porter.com. Caftan inspired dresses and shirts are here to stay, and are perfect for your spring and summer wardrobe!
Spice up your style with pieces inspired by cultural worldliness. From tribal flare to ethnic elegance, today’s designers are in tune to cultural significance in design. Worldly everyday wear has been brought to our fingertips at affordable prices and is a wonderful addition to springtime style! Today’s woman is in tune with the world and isn’t afraid of the bold and exotic. The ethnic trend is here — so put on your Caftan and add some culture to today’s world of fashion!
Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes
Model: Elizabeth Mayer
Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics