Going native

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Bitching & Junkfood Headdress £140
Bitching & Junkfood Headdress £140

Whether slumming it in the polyester ghettoes of Glastonbury or living it up at fashionable new glamp-sites; the humble tent has become an integral part of the British summer so there is no better time to harness the trend that’ll make you feel right at home in a tepee.   Spring/summer 2011 has had a crush on prints in a major way.  Florals were worked hard in the spring, but the summer’s transition to tribal prints allows for a more ethnic vibe that’s perfect for the festival season.

As a patterned print tribal has become less abstract and more focused on traditional Navajo and Aztec designs.  The difference between the two is primarily their base shapes; triangular structures for Navajo, while Aztec favours blocky square patterns.  Most designers favour horizontal arrangements under the influence of the season’s love of nautical stripes, but some designs more than others lend themselves to a multidirectional pull.  As always, don’t feel confined to only one printed piece per outfit, pattern clashing has been the mark of 2011 so far!

Aztec Necklace £30 @ Lazy Oaf
Aztec Necklace £30 @ Lazy Oaf

Colour-wise there is room for experimentation.  Depending on the look you want, you have two palettes at your disposal.   For a more vibrant, polished ensemble, pop your jewel colours.  These deep and intense tones will better suit those with a dark barnet or complexion, especially for those of you who hit the bottle (of fake tan) hard.   The other option is to utilise more earthy tones like off-whites, faded browns and reds, vermillion and mustards; inversely these work better with fair complexions

Grey Aztec Chambry Shirt £28 @ Topman
Grey Aztec Chambry Shirt £28 @ Topman

With accessories it’s important to keep your materials authentic.  Beads, jewels, feathers and gold may all have had a home on the natives, but you need to consider more carefully which of these cater to your outfit.  Burnished gold sits well amongst the rubies and amethysts of your jewel palette, but a natural feather will be lost next to such deep colours.  Experiment and you’ll find just the right accompaniments to your tribal getup.

Another accessory and design detail to look out for in the future is the fringe.  On boots, bags, dresses and as jewellery, the fringe will soften a shape, giving it the relaxed, bohemian feel the festival circuit calls for.

In a nutshell –

  • Go Native – pick geometrical tribal prints in authentic designs
  • Gleam – go for an intense jewel pallette
  • Be Natural – choose earthy ethnic tones
  • Plunder – hunt through your jewelery box for gold, bright jewels, feathers and beads, but be careful not to over accessorise with all this choice.

 

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