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Go native – Tribal Influences

Globe-trotting trends borrow elements from African, Asian & East Indian fashion like tribal prints, safari clothes, bold colours and patterns, chunky jewellery, and turbans.

The global village of fashion is one of the hottest places to be this season, and designers primed your wardrobe for a safari adventure with a wild assortment of African field jackets, safari suits, zebra and leopard prints, khaki, and chunky tribal jewellery. Safari-inspired pieces graced the runways at Michael Kors, Donna Karan, and Diane von Furstenberg, as designers played with mixed prints, raw textures, and vibrant hues. From head-to-toe animal prints at Michael Kors to warrior-like tribal dresses at Herve Leger, we can’t wait to get our safari on for this season.

Tribal has been one of the buzzwords of recent times, as ethnic chic with a twist of modern has taken the fashion world by storm. The tribal trend has been with us for a long time and continues to come back with ethnic influences from Africa, India, Asia, South America and more, influenced by religious and cultural symbols. Getting the tribal look won’t be hard this spring, considering how many designers have incorporated the trend into their recent apparel and accessory lines. Look for simple shapes, African-inspired earth tones, and rich textures when shopping. Many of the season’s tribal accessories will feature mixed materials such as wood, metallic, and even beading. And yes, you can mix animal prints into your look for a truly tribal experience, if you dare!

When adding a new trend to your wardrobe, a handbag purchase can be the easiest way to get started. Pair it with your normal casual or work wear to add a modern, trendy kick to your overall look. Tribal handbags range in print sizes, colours, and bag shapes so that you can find the ideal choice for yourself. And round out the style with a dash of colonial military attire. If you’re not ready to dress head to toe in geometric patterns and tribal colours, that’s okay too. Warm your way up to tribal style with a few choice accessories. Get some affordable wooden bracelets for some decorative tribal touches. For something bigger and more eye-catching, try out a wooden or mixed-material pendant necklace. There are plenty to shop, and you might fall in love once you start searching!

A very affordable option is the Tribal trend jewellery that adds on elegant and gracious look to one’s persona. Each piece of the tribal jewellery carries a special reason, memory and expression. The intricate designer jewellery is always more close to the heart of a woman and is a treasure for ages, as it is a symbol of sophistication and gracefulness. Throw on a statement skull-and-bone necklace or beadwork danglers, and you add some je ne sais quoi chic to a low-key outfit. Find a statement wrap or stole that complements jeans and a top, tank top and flowing maxi skirt or simple sheath dress and you can amp up your outfit from everyday mom to exceptional elan. There are no rules for wrapping; get creative and pin on a stole or dupatta in whatever way you like. You can also pick tribal belts, sandals, jewellery, and many more accessories. The tribal-print sundress will be a big trend for the summertime, so gear up now for that warmer weather look! For some glam, let it hang long on one side. Here are some more interesting pointers to conquer the tribal look:

  • Add some ethnic flavour to your wardrobe with a dress, blouse, kaftan, tunic or scarf in an exotic and bold African or Asian print. Look for African geometric prints or a dazzling, multicoloured West African kente cloth. Imitate this basket weave by picking a fabric with a kente-style print or track down beautiful zigzag patterns of Asian ikat weaves.
  • Let some wildlife into your closet by tastefully tossing in a few splashes of animal print; black-and-white wonky zebra stripes and giraffe prints are especially hot, as are snakeskin, leopard and cheetah spots.
  • Spice up your style by wearing bright, eye-popping colours – like fuchsia, purple, vermillion orange, fire engine red, and emerald green – and large-scale daring abstract prints.
  • Feathers and beads are a fabulous and dramatic way to embellish the tribal look.
  • To accessorize the tribal style, look for wooden jewellery, chunky necklaces and bracelets, large hoop earrings, and stacks of bangles. Top it off with a straw hat or go all out and wrap up an African headdress or East Indian turban.
  • Take some inspiration from the Indian sari and Japanese kimono next time you’re looking for a formal outfit. Raw silk, bold, rich colours, intricate embroidery and unique wrapping will give you a chic, sophisticated look that sets you apart from the crowd.


Text by Aarti Kapur Singh

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