If you are suffering from boho fatigue, it’s entirely understandable. Two weekends of Coachella results in a grand total of 144+ hours where social media is saturated with hazy shots of (modern) hippy moments: Floral garland headbands, fringed everything, hair braids, peace signs, cowboy boots, crochet, printed maxi dresses, and all of the usual garb was again employed by the desert festival’s fashionable crowds to party in what’s now “traditional” Coachella style. As a fashion editor who feels a strong affinity with all things ’70s, I find myself confronted with a strange conundrum: I love the look, but have we reached peak boho? One glance at the retail landscape, as well as the direction of both this season and next, and it would appear not…
Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images; Style du Monde
Nadiia Sahpoval and Kate Foley giving good boho on the streets of fashion week.
We’ve already deciphered the ways you can sidestep the clichés like the coolest A-listers, but it’s not just these Californian coordinates where bohemia currently rules supreme. A fashion designer once described boho trends to me as a “cash cow”: It always appeals, it always sells, and it always works on a shop floor—no matter what the overarching trends of the season may be. The mood on the runways and the streets has been very much in favour of the ’70s for some time and continues to be well into A/W 16, but what makes this aesthetic a cash cow? Why do we love it so much? And can you look legitimately bohemian in spring 2016 without going a tassel too far into fancy dress? We put the questions out to the fashion industry and they duly responded.
Keep reading to discover what’s behind this mega-trend and how you can ace it now…
Valentino and Etro S/S 16 shows had strong bohemian vibes.
“Boho is the epitome of fashion escapism, offering women clothes they wouldn’t necessarily wear to the office and instantly evoking a mood of summer and travel.” — Lisa Aiken, retail fashion director of Net-a-Porter
“My feeling is that bohemian is more than a trend. It is actually a style and lifestyle that reflect an eclectic aesthetic—one that takes inspiration from travel and different cultures.” — Kim Hersov, co-founder alongside Shon Randhawa of Talitha
“I think it’s a constant because it is a very flattering and feminine look that suits all different shapes and sizes of women. Many trends can be unforgiving on the body but the ones that aren’t, like boho, have a lot more mileage!” — Coco Fennell, designer
“Coachella sells four times more product than Glastonbury festival. We see triple the volume of searches for festival fashion in April compared to June, and with that comes a huge spike in demand for boho and all the search terms associated with it.” — Katy Lubin, PR manager at Lyst
“Avoid too many items at once—a tiered maxi dress plus fringed bag and floaty hat has moved beyond fancy dress into naff reality TV uniform. Pair each piece down with something plainer and add some sharper edges. A pretty sundress with a tailored blazer is going to be this summer's strongest look.” — Victoria Moss, senior fashion news and features editor at The Telegraph
“Dodo Bar Or have taken the printed kaftan and elevated it so you can wear it whether you’re at the beach, in the city or at a festival. Even Saint Laurent, known for its rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic, presented an array of prairie-inspired, printed dresses, which feel perfectly in line with the current bohemian spirit. You can buy into the trend in many different forms, from March11’s embroidered linen dresses and Mes Demoiselles’ broderie anglaise to Vilshenko’s cotton maxis. There is a style to suit everyone.” — Lisa Aiken
“For S/S 16 there was a vintage feel to the collections, providing a different way into the trend. Designers such as Etro, Erdem and Alexander McQueen all embraced modern bohemia in the form of romantic print floral and ruffle dresses. It’s clear that people are obsessed with vintage pieces; they’ve stood the test of time and we’re now seeing brands replicate the style with a contemporary twist—think long floral maxi dresses with an asymmetric hem and cut-out shoulders.” — Lisa Aiken