Contemporary luxury fashion and bohemianism are intimately related. Bohemianism actively promotes the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, with a particular emphasis on the likes of music, art, literature and, certainly most significantly for this feature, fashion. As a concept, it rejects the notions of societal conformity and instead seeks to find the hidden beauty in everyday life, drawing inspiration from it to create abstract interpretations through various mediums. At its core, fashion (in its broadest terms) is founded upon similar principles. When conceptualising a new collection, designers often challenge themselves to think outside the box, deconstructing their own perception of the world around them and creating something totally original. Something that reframes our own understanding of what ‘fashion’ is and what it means in our modern world.
It stands to reason then that the emergence of bohemian fashion feels completely natural. The coming together of two already-intertwined concepts only helps to reinforce the principles of both. This marriage of ideas and principles translates to the clothes we wear in almost every conceivable way it can do. From the shapes and fabrics of the garments to the colours and prints, bohemian fashion is all about communicating a feeling of freedom and self-expression. It’s not uncommon to see bold and vivid colour palettes and tie-dye patterns that evoke the true beauty of the natural world yet unspoiled by man. We absolutely love the psychedelic tie-dye techniques that are utilised in this Palm Angels’ Paradise Print Bowling Shirt
and Saint Laurent's Tie-Dye Print Logo T-Shirt
With historical roots dating back to the hippie youth movement of the 1960s, the flower is regarded as a powerful symbol of peace and anti-establishmentism. While bohemianism is certainly more of a lifestyle concept than it is a movement driven by (or raised in opposition to) political ideals, it shares an undeniable closeness with facets of ‘hippie culture’, as demonstrated by similarities in the clothes and fashion. The flower is one such element that is consistent between both, representing a rejection of conformism and an embracing of freedom of spirit. And being one of the greatest examples of the inherent beauty of nature, it’s easy to see why it is such a quintessential feature of typical bohemian style. Valentino’s
SS21 Flying Flowers
print, which is installed on this t-shirt
for their SS21 showcase, is one of our favourites from the season; a striking fusion of colours that are offset by a smattering of wild flowers.
Bohemianism advocates for a kind of untethering from all restrictions and bindings, a sentiment that is often reflected in the loose, flowing cuts and shapes of boho-style garments. Saint Laurent’s Hawaiian Print Short Sleeve Shirt and Black Confetti Hibiscus Print Silk Shirt are both cut from lightweight, airy fabrics that allow the body to breathe and for the wind to flow through freely. Fabrics such as silk, lyocell, linen and chambray denim are popular choices for this particular fashion aesthetic because they encourage movement in the wearer. And the modern-day boho man is nothing if he isn’t nomadic. All of this is, of course, completely applicable to any and all accessories that could be associated with conventional bohemian styling. Two of our go-to styles this season are Valentino Garavani’s Black Rockstud Roman Sandals and Saint Laurent’s Neil Black Braided Leather Sandals, both of which are unobtrusive enough to leave your feet exposed to the elements, ground you to the natural earth in the process.
Exactly what constitutes as ‘bohemian style’ can sometimes be difficult to explain in absolute terms. The key takeaway is that bohemian fashion allows the wearer the freedom to express themself in the truest manner. There are certainly recurring themes, as explored in this feature, but defining it as strictly one thing or another would contradict the core principles of bohemianism in general. What we’ve discussed is really only a guide to understanding some of the foundations of the aesthetic. The real beauty is in experimenting with the given tools (remember your colourful pastels, tropical prints and airy fabrics) to create your own unconventional and truly original styles.