Monday 5 December 2016

Is boho finally here to stay?

Bibby Sowray,

Published 18/07/2014 | 12:04

Alessandra Ambrosio at Coachella
Alessandra Ambrosio at Coachella
Alessandra Ambrosio
Sienna Miller
Sienna Miller at Glastonbury
Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens

Of all the trends from the past decade, there's one that sticks out head and shoulders above the rest: Boho.

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Arguably it was Sienna Miller that came to personify it around 2003/2004. Just 22 and thrust into the limelight as the girlfriend of Jude Law she brought with her a contemporary bohemian charm that, well, charmed the world. From coin belts to maxis, tatty peasant tops to floppy-brimmed hats, she had it all and carried it off with aplomb. It wouldn't be inaccurate to say that Miller found fame for her wardrobe long before her on-screen credits.

Sienna Miller at Glastonbury
Sienna Miller at Glastonbury

Her influence inevitably trickled down to the masses, and super stylist Rachel Zoe began building what became known as her 'Zoebots' - the clutch of Hollywood 'starlets' that she shaped into floaty maxi dress-wearing, beach blonde clones like Nicole Ritchie, Mischa Barton and Lindsay Lohan.

But, as with all trends, we eventually tired of it and moved on to the next craze. Even poster girl Miller went off it.

Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens

"It was a strange social experiment, to be responsible for all that," she said of her boho influence in 2008. "It made me self-conscious, which, inherently, I'm not. People would say, "I'm sick of boho", and now I stand up and say, "But I liked those clothes - it's not my fault that they were copied, you wore them and now you're sick of them."

But fashion didn't resign it to the clothing bank in the sky, instead it bundled it into a bin liner, shoved it in the attic and stuck a post-it note saying "open in seven to eight years" on it.

Diligently we did - or rather, Hedi Slimane did when he started at Saint Laurent, sprinkling his debut spring/summer 2013 collection with brazenly luxe boho 70s style 'chapeaus' and other little hippyish details. Suddenly boho was back, but subtly - a little bit of fringing and ethnic embroidery here, a slouchy bag there.

But this summer it seems finally to have bloomed again. Poppy Delevingne's second wedding dress was an all-out boho fest, designed by Pucci's Peter Dundas. Then, at the latest round at couture shows Lena Perminova took Burberry's autumn/winter 2014 collection - which celebrated the bohemian artists and writers of the 1920s - for a trial run, and casting agent Natalie Joos paired a blouson-sleeved floral mazi with wedges and a Chanel bag and suddenly we remembered why we ever liked the trend in the first place. Fickle bunch, aren't we?

But it has changed this time round. It's more polished and refined - the untidiness of the Sienna era is gone, replaced by sleek manes, clean hems and high-class accessories that keep it sleek. It's altogether a bit more grown up and a bit more optional; we need not go the whole hippie-hemmed hog this time, just dabble.

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