Call of the Wild

Fashion's lost tribe

Text by Naomi Bikis

Photography by Alexander Neumann

Styling by Aeri Yun

Breaking through the depths of the humid, dense rainforest; emerging out of the undergrowth and into the searing white light, is fashion's latest take on tribalism.

Gone are the ubiquitous references to nomads, Masai warriors, and the exotic shades of foreign climes. This tribal trend has shaken off associations with endless summer festivals and gap years in developing countries. Instead, it is realigning itself with adult chic. Vivid ethnic patterns have receded and last year's luxury '70s travellers have been replaced by crisp light pastels and rustic textures.

A suede bodysuit in earthy cream from New York label Dominic Louis recalls ancient cave women binding on their armour for a day's hunt. Designer Louis Mairone looked to the urban jungle of New York for inspiration. Isabel Marant has taken her girl on a journey around the world for SS12. Beginning in North America with slouchy football jerseys, she travelled with jumpers and dresses loosely knitted in bright colours. Worn by the journey and bleached by the sun, Marant's jackets were shredded and patchworked. New Yorker, Tess Giberson played with a similar weathered and unstructured approach to her cream knits. Jen Kao doused her spring collection in tropical hues and embroidered lace pieces that snaked around the models' limbs like the tendrils of a strange and poisonous flower.

Tribal trend reinterpretations will always reappear when thoughts of long balmy nights and great escapes arise. What would spring/summer be without plenty of intrigue and anticipation? §

Styling assistant Valerie Duardo

  • Call of the Wild - Alexander Neumann