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STYLE OPINION THE WAYFARER

The bohemian mood goes globetrotting for SS17. Look to labels such as Etro for an effortless mix of global influences and a luxe aesthetic.

Words by Georgina Lucas.

Paisley prints taken from ancient Iranian tradition, a statement necklace that might have been discovered in a Moroccan souk, embellishment inspired by the beaches of Peru – for SS17, take to far-flung shores. To master the mood, turn first to a label that has bohemia running through its veins: Etro. Made for ‘free-wheeling, soulful women’, the SS17 show notes quoted Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir lyrics, ‘I am a traveller of both time and space,’ and opened with Frederikke Sofie’s Pre-Raphaelite curls. The ensuing poetry of colour and print exuded joy, and the house’s signature paisley was very much in evidence, punctuated with woven tan belts and beaten brass jewellery.

Veronica Etro sums up the mindset: ‘She loves to travel. She’s eclectic, cosmopolitan, exotic, ironic. She follows her whims and enjoys the fantasy fashion can bring, playing with patterns and accessories.’ There’s much to be emulated in the freedom of Etro’s approach. The key? Don’t try too hard. The abandonment of self-consciousness is integral to achieving the wayfarer’s effortless artistry – it is ‘the balance between heritage and a modern touch, blending artisan know-how with creative experimentation,’ says Etro.

Elsewhere, the application of itinerant influences is both varied and versatile. Peter Pilotto collected details on travels through Paracas, Peru, such as neon lamé pompoms and gold macramé that adorn floor-sweeping silhouettes, and natural linens paired with embroidered technicolour palm trees. While at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson’s application of texture was key, with minimal, boxy shapes cut with asymmetrical hems that hinted at an Eastern influence, and edges trimmed with fringing or left raw.

Oscar de la Renta, too, embraced a cacophony of inspirations, such as broderie anglaise sitting with ikat prints and handkerchief hems floating alongside head-to-toe paisley, all elevated for the Upper East Side woman. Elsewhere, Alexander McQueen’s signature gothic drama was infused with a wild Shetland charm and Chloé’s 1970s-printed ruffles had a gypsy edge.

And then there is the introduction of utility. At Etro this came in the form of practical satchels, designed for hip flasks and sketching pencils. While at Isabel Marant, where herds of nonchalant Parisians flock to satisfy their boho fix, the mood took on a functional, almost athleisure edge, with quilted kimono jackets and drawstring waists set against all-over ruffled prints.

The wayfarer mood is about evoking a lifestyle rather than creating a look. Veronica Etro referenced Berbers – the original travellers, although Talitha Getty and her jet-set 1960s posse is perhaps the closest the trend comes to adopting a muse. The attitude is that of a nomadic collector – a cosmopolitan, exotic approach to dressing, rooted in a globe-trotting lifestyle.

The vacation labels have this exotic approach down to a fine art, perhaps because the wayfarer’s natural habit is anywhere but home. Israeli designer Dodo Bar Or’s kaffiyeh-inspired pieces perfectly encapsulate the far-flung style. As do Muzungu Sisters and Athena Procopiou’s swirling prints, kaftan silhouettes and pompom details. Meanwhile, at Caroline Constas and Zimmermann, vacation-style pieces acquire event status – see asymmetric hems, wrap silhouettes and layered ruffles.

Alhough the runways would suggest the look pervades an understated application, it needn’t. This mood translates excellently (and effortlessly) to accessories. Carry a basket bag by Sophie Anderson or Mark Cross, wear shoulder-sweeping earrings from Isabel Marant, or an abstract necklace by Marni. Dressing from the feet, look to Valentino’s studded, tasselled sandals or Sanayi 313’s intricately embellished slides. And, if in doubt? Take heed of Veronica Etro’s mantra: ‘Love colour, don’t take it too seriously – play with fashion and always smile.’

The muse: Talitha Getty photographed for Vogue in 1970.

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PHOTOGRAPHS PATRICK LICHFIELD/CONDÉ NAST/GETTY IMAGES

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