Style Bulletin: clash of the civilisations
What: Some fashion commentators are calling it “tribal” but such a vague term doesn’t really do justice to this richly layered trend. Imagine an intrepid globetrotter mixing African-style wax prints, Indonesian batik, Central Asian ikats, Eastern European embroidery and even LA surfer neons. Sometimes all at once. What it doesn’t include: florals – they’re a whole other trend.
Where: Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum was an early proponent of the clash-of-civilisations look, mixing up beading, embroidery and raffia for the spring/summer 2012 collection. But it really gathered steam in June, when many young New York designers – Joseph Altuzarra (above left), Gaby Basora at Tucker (above centre) and Bibhu Mohapatra (above right) among them – showed a masterful mix of prints and details.
How: Start with something in an ikat print – it’s been a recurring feature on spring runways the past few years, so you might already have something in your wardrobe. If you’re new to the whole mix/match/clash ethos, take it slow and add some neon via a statement necklace or a pair of flat sandals. Advanced wearers can add a second print in the form of a pair of pants, a jacket or a cardigan (check out the stunning photography of UK artist Yinka Shonibare MBE for further inspiration). Keep colours tonal to avoid looking like you got dressed in the dark.
Will you be clashing global prints this summer?