[ MEXICAN RAVE ] ASOS SS 2012 Collections

I'm not sure its actually ok for me to be this obsessed with a collection, but if ASOS were a physical shop I think I may get arrested for shoplifting. I don't just want, I NEED everything from the online shopping super giant's new Mexican Rave collection. I mean, check out those super colourful Aztec prints, those cool little skull bracelets and those tasseled earrings...oh yes please! 

I traveled around the fiesta swinging, tequila swigging country one summer just a few years back and have been addicted to everything Mexican ever since: huipil blouses,  quechquémitl capes and rebozo shawls, Alfonso Cuarón, Frida Kahlo, ice cold margaritas, Antonio Banderas in El Mariachi... you name it, I love it. Let's face it, I've been traveling on a backpacker budget for ten months now with but a single bag to fill with beautiful ethnic threads, and seen as I'm soon to reach Australia I think it's about time someone took some pity on me and blessed me with a new ethnic inspired, fashion forward wardrobe...please?

To see ASOS's full Mexican Rave Feature click here.


[ TOMMY TON'S TOP TROPICS 2011] Exotic Street Style

While the AW 2012/13 shows get into full swing over in Europe and the US and we await those wintery tones which are sure to fill our screens over the next few weeks, some of us 'southern hemisphere'rs' are striving to hold on to the last days of summer. So, in celebration of the best season of all (and to get some of you lot over there excited for the pending sun) I'm giving you a little bit of inspiration in the form of top street style photographer Tommy Ton's most colour-popping, ethnic infused, exotic-hued snaps from the last fashion week season.  Enjoy!

All images sourced from Style.com
View more street style by Tommy Ton at jakandjil.com


[ SCI-FI SPACE TRIBE ] David Koma SS 2012

Seems everyone's picking up on SS's tribal influences from exotic prints to crafty beading, but Topshop NEWGEN designer David Koma's taken it forward a few light years with a futuristic twist. Flashes of neon in block printed geometrical patterns, inspired by Polynesian tribal paint, adorn Koma's signature body-con dresses, whilst translucent panels and a collaborative effort with jewellery designer, Sarah Angold, see jet black devore embellished with iridescent perspex discs. Hello tribal spacewoman in shiny black. Yes please summer city chic in creamy white!


[ PINTER LUSTINGS ] Ethnic Style Inspirations

Just a few more of my favorite picks from my Pinterest Ethnic Fashion board. Reiterating exactly what it is I love about ethnic inspired design -  vibrant colours, geometrical patterns, in-your-face bold prints and innovative use of jewellery making techniques. What I wouldn't give for some tips from those Masai Mara....

All images sourced from Pinterest.com


[ TRIBAL BRIT ] Burberry Prorsum SS 2012

tailored bohemian, British cool, ethnic luxury, Christopher Bailey, Burberry Spring Summer 2012, exotica, exotic prints, tribal style, ethnic style, wandering threads, ethnic inspired fashion, Burberry artisan

1. Woven Raffia and Printed Wedge Pumps 2. 130mm Wooden Beaded Sandals 3. Avonbrook Key Fob 4.TribalPrinted Woven Silk Dress 5. Hepburne Orange Ochre Bag 6. Woven Leather and Raffia Ballet Flats 7. Linen Cropped Jacket 8. Printed Silk and Cotton-blend Dress 9.Campanula Scarf

Ask me how I'd some up my personal style in as fewer words as possible and the answer could only be 'tailored bohemian'. Bit of a juxtaposition, I know.  By nature I may be a travel centric, ethnic style obsessive and hoarder of printed scarves and oversized gypsy earrings but by nurture I just can't bear scruff. Hailing from a quintessentially English town where blazers, starched white shirts and perfectly knotted ties were essential state school uniform, I spent my teens being chased by my mother wielding an iron and a bottle of shoe polish. Well, after 24 years of hassle over creases and frays all that fuss has certainly paid off and I've grown to appreciate the art of a perfectly shaped lapel and an impeccably ironed pleat.

Que the above from Burberry Prorsum SS 2012. A label that epitomises 21st century 'British cool', Burberry's typically British tailoring is continuously injected with an effortlessly youthful edge that, season after season, unfailingly appeals to both the young and the mature. First guesses as to why I'm head over heals this season? Yup, you've got it: Britain meets exotica aka 'tailored tribal chic'.

This collection is all about 'celebrat(ing) things that take time to do' as Creative Director and all-round fashion genius, Christopher Bailey puts it. Typical trenches and faultless tailoring embellished with beaded geometric patterns, raffia trims and boldly coloured block prints. This collections handcrafted, African touch is definitely pushing my ethnic obsessive buttons, and more importantly, hitting the nail on the head for spring's tribal trend too. This seasons footwear and accessories go straight to the top of my thread lust list. Long live Burberry! 


[ YANGGE PARTY PRINTS ] Píngyáo International Photography Festival

More raving about that little (in Chinese terms) town west of Beijing? Yes, more raving. Sorry but it really was quite the town. Last post, I promise. This time I want to share with you some of my favorite ethnic inspired shots from the 2011 Píngyáo international Photography Festival, which just happened to be taking place during my visit.  

Held at various locations around the town with prints strung up everywhere from disused factories to 300 year old temple walls and parking lot gates, this festival definitely took the town by storm, swamping the streets with super keen amateur photographers brandishing an unwarranted amount of camera equipment. Let's just say unofficial sponsors Canon and Nikon certainly peaked in inadvertent exposure ratings.

Photographs by Kang Fuqi
Naturally on the look out for traditional culture inspired shots, I came across two photographers who had both captured traditional villages in full swing Yangge mode. Taking place annually in lunar January each year around northern China's Shaanxi province, Yangge Party celebrates the joy of life and happiness stemming from the past years good harvest with drum and gong bearing dancers, often on stilts, paying visits to all dwellings in the area. So whilst we're welcoming in the new year with a hangover, these guys are prancing around on stilts in the most amazing, intricately embroidered costumes, faces plastered with traditional make up and crowned with fabulously decorative headpieces. I think I might try China next New Year. 

Photographs by Kang Fuqi

Traditional culture aside, the PIP festival has a plethora of awesome work from every level of photographer, mostly Chinese (naturally) with a few foreigners slotted in here and there. A great atmosphere and an even better location, its definitely worth a visit if you just happen to be hanging around Shaanxi province but if you're a westerner watch out for those telephoto lenses! True to form, being one of the only non-Asians around, I was unrelentingly swarmed by super lenses and tiny children wielding note books and pleading for autographs. I think my 'type' may be somewhat of a rarity in small town China... 

The Píngyáo international Photography Festival 2012: my no.1 recommendation for any non-Asian that wants to feel like a famous person for the day. 

To read more about the UNESCO heritage town of Píngyáo check out my earlier post here and and another on paper cutting in Píngyáo here


[ FROM LONDON TO AUSTRALIA ] Mary Katrantzou for Topshop SS 2012

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that I am totally, ridiculously obsessed with Mary Katrantzou (not the lady herself, mind you, although I'm sure she's wonderful). As I mentioned a few months ago while gushing over her AW2011/12 collection, I was lucky enough to be present at the London based designer's Central Saint Martins MA graduate show back in 2009 which propelled her to instant fashion fame. Being a Saint Martin's graduate myself, I like to keep on top of Alumni news, but this ones a little to hard to miss: Mary Katrantzou for Topshop SS 2012! Yesss! Finally myself and the rest of my twenty-something budget restrained fashion lovers can pick up some of these beauties for a fraction of the price! But I'm not in the UK I telepathically sense the question pondering your minds. Ah ha! My second piece of exciting news - Topshop has now arrived in Australia! My soon-to-be new home has finally embraced our coolest high street export along with online shopping mecca ASOS! Thank you Australia for your impeccable timing.  



wandering places, ancient china, traditional culture, chinese streets
Ahh, Píngyáo, that time-honored town in the heart of China's Shaanxi province, one of the few remaining, truly authentic locations you'll find left in modern day China. Píngyáo's grey-brick streets give way to meticulously carved wooden doors, behind which lay a hide a network of symmetrical dwellings, centered around impeccably landscaped courtyards, each bathed in light and exuding a sense of Taoist harmony. Film set worthy streets, once the tourist hoards have left, of course. In the five days I spent wandering its alleyways I began to develop somewhat of a love affair with this town so, naturally, I think it only right that I should share some of my snaps of this majestic place with you too. 

Shaaxi, China, traditional culture, walled city
Chinese courtyard, Pingyao architecture, traditional china, old chinese style

Shaanxi photos, Pinyao China streets

traditional chinese costume, ethnic style, wandering places, Shaanxi, China, imperial

wooden messages, Chinese tradition, China culture, Pingyao, Shaanxi
traditional China,
If you too find yourself falling in love with this wonderful town, take a look at my previous post on Píngyáo's paper cutting crafts and later post on the Pingyao International Photography Festival 2011


[ THREAD LUSTINGS ] FolkloreLove on Etsy

Rustic Antique Romanian Hand Woven Pillow Cover, Antique Romanian Hand Woven Rustic Pillow Cover Red & White, Rustic Vintage Romanian Hand Loomed Macat Pillow Cover, and Antique Hand Woven Rustic Pillow Cover

Glaringly garish or charmingly kitsch? Whatever, I'm in ethnic textile heaven. Perhaps, if I threw these fancifully ethnic cushions into the mix of a bohemian living space, I might just get away with their outlandishly folkish veneer? Picture time-worn wooden floors spread with antique rugs, throw-laden sofas and a vintage grandfather clock thrown in for good measure and you've got the perfect scene for these antique textile cushions from FolkLove on Etsy. Reincarnated from old, handwoven Romanian kilim, a traditional style of handwoven rug found in eastern Europe and the Middle East, what better to beat those post-wandering blues and conjure some kind of fabled nostalgia to one's home? Hmm, maybe I shouldn't stop traveling...

Like what you see? Take a wander around my list of ethnic inspired Etsy favorites by clicking here.  


[ ORIENTAL EYES ] Lashes by PaperSelf

If you are yet to discover these amazing false eyelashes by Paperself you need to get right on over to their website and have a damn good look. Shame on you! Belonging to two London based friends of mine, Yiki Chen and Chunwei Liao, Paperself has gained enormous following throughout the fashion world since its humble beginnings back in 2009. 

Inspired by the Chinese tradition of paper cutting, these beautifully intricate lashes have revolutionised the market for falsies around the world. Stocked everywhere from the UK to Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia and featured globally in pretty much every major magazine, there's no stopping them! Luckily I snapped myself up a few freebies after helping Yiki and Chunwei shoot some of their look book images (like the one above) and writing their promotional material back in 2010. Since then they've been busy designing new styles, all inspired by traditional Chinese symbolism, so get on over to their website and have a look!



[ RUNNING WITH SCISSORS ] Chinese Paper Cutting, Píngyáo

Check out this amazing paper craft discovered during my first foray out of the city and into China's traditional towns back in October last year. Píngyáo 平遥, just over 400 miles west of Beijing is one of the last remaining, working, walled heritage cities. Once a thriving merchant town during the Ming Dynasty, later progressing to a centre for banking during the Qing dynasty, Píngyáo is now a Mecca for unrelenting hoards of Chinese tourists (complete with speakerphone wielding guide). However, make the tactical decision to stay the night and post 4pm, voilà! no crowds to be seen. 

Now, enough of the travel tips and back to the art. As you've probably discerned by now, Chinese heritage town + prosperous, culture hungry Chinese tourists = perfect money making opportunity. But a glance down one of Píngyáo's cobbled streets and you'll be taken aback by the never-ending stretch of grey-brick walls embellished with line upon line revolutionary red hued, intricately scored, traditional Chinese paper cuttings.  

Depicting archetypal scenes, zodiac signs and characters, the paper cuttings are hugely symbolic in Chinese culture and are largely seen during festivals, ceremonies and family events, often given as gifts by well wishers. My personal appreciation for the craft was propelled a few years back whilst researching feature ideas for my ethnic inspired degree project, TRIBE magazine. A Taiwanese friend, Yiki, introduced me to her own brand of Chinese paper cut inspired false eyelashes (more on that later...), a novel idea right? Just another awesome example of how traditional culture continues to inspire contemporary design. What's been inspiring you lately?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...