Boho is back, but there’s so much more to it than dream catchers and strappy sandals. Read on, as we take a deep dive into the history and evolution of this trend. The Bohemian brings whimsical feels, with clothing to match. The term hints at an unconventional way of life, suggestive of people with shared interests in art, music and even spirituality. Similar to that of a gypsy, it is mysterious and without the intent of extreme fashion.

Light and layered outfits intended for adventurers and nomads alike, the Bohemian style was born out of pure functionality and the need to be unique. Jewellery of many different metals and precious stones over neutral clothing allowed for ease of movability, while retaining a defined sense of style. In more recent years, as Bohemian became ‘boho’ and was often joined with ‘chic’, especially to describe the Olsen twins, the term ‘bohemian style’ has been juggled around, misused and watered down. However, it’s more relevant than ever before.

Gypsy Bohemian women in Turkey circa 1910 / via Rexfeatures

A Means to change or pure escapism?

It’s time to encourage slower fashion, authentically and ethically produced clothing – to change our thought process. The Boho trend is here is to re-inspire us to break away from the conventional, and to also do so with our clothing. The Bohemian lifestyle also has close ties to the celebration of music, and the Boho style is thus popular at festivals across the world, beginning in the ’60s and ’70s with hippies and the free-spirited who also encouraged an unconventional lifestyle.

Roshana Aka Olive Craddock (1894-1926) / via Rexfeatures

Reflecting the runway

We next look at the international runways to see the way the trend is represented in high-end clothing by world famous designers. The term ‘Boheme’ originated in France to describe those living away from the mainstream, it makes most sense to study Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 runways.

Fringe details of varying lengths add texture and movement to otherwise basic silhouettes. This detail is widely accepted as one of the key factors in Bohemian style, seen on hems as well as covering entire garments.

Loewe, Celine, Sonia Rykiel, Celine/via Imaxtree

Solid prints, with paisley and florals being the most popular, adorned long maxi dresses. Panels and asymmetric hems added interest.

Giambattista Valli, Loewe, Valentino, Rodarte/via Imaxtree

Functionality is key for this trend, as clothing with little fuss was well sought-after for travelling. Today this is represented by kaftans, shift dresses and even the modern tracksuit-inspired loungewear.

Sonia Rykiel, Paul & Joe, Loewe/via Imaxtree

A mix-and-match attitude was highly accepted, even praised, as it showed the individuality of the wearer. Mixing contrasting prints, textiles and even seasonal garments (such as boots with short dresses) was not the intended style but it happened very naturally.

Chloe, Chloe, Celine, Chloe/via Imaxtree

White lace is also a frequent addition to the Bohemian style. Fine needlework and crochet is also a widely popular and intensely detailed craft within this trend.

Sonia Rykiel, Rodarte, Isabel Marant/via Imaxtree

We know to expect this trend in the stores very soon, especially as we approach summer. However, the real question is whether you’ll choose to incorporate hand-woven lace and unconventional styling into your look as well as the ideology of these free-spirited pioneers of the trend.