Folk Boho clothes are set to be one of the top
fashion trends for autumn 2008. In fashion
history terms, Folk Boho is merely a
continuation of an ethnic trend that has been
developing during the last decade. Already
various hippy clothing such as the gilet is a
garment destined for a secure place in the noughties decade
of costume history.
A recurring theme through the first
decade of the new millennium is embroidery, beading and appliqué on
clothing. Here we go again, and Boho is more chic than
Folkloric fashion styling is hot on the heels of biker
equally wearable for the vast majority of women who feel young
at heart. Russian Doll, Folkloric, Folksy and Folky
Ethnic are all variations on this Boho theme. In fact some
of the interpretations of the Boho style are nearer to Trad Folk dress than anything
seen in many years.
Right - BHS faux fur gilet with paisley smock shirt - Autumn
Folk Boho look will suit every woman who loves the complexity of
bold paisley pattern, rich prints, golden discs, beads,
embroidery, lavish fur and fringe trims. This style embodies the woman who
wants flexibility and simply cannot give up the relative freedom
of 'a sweet disorder in the dress', which Folk Boho so easily
Folk Boho is a trend which is kind to most dress sizes;
folkloric fashion offers something chic for small to large
plus sizes, it also suits both petite and
tall women. The sixties hippy chick, the accessory crazed
young girl, even the average woman, all love a folklore costume.
All it takes is to achieve this fashion look is one key piece
like this chunkily embroidered belt right. Indeed, one key piece is the answer to
you controlling Folk Boho,
rather than letting 'it' controlling you. Know when to stop piling
Above right - A beautiful hand-embroidered Argentinean belt
with floral motif and vintage style silver buckle. The
belt is handmade in South America for Plumo and
colours vary, but it is a Fairtrade product and produced in sizes
up to 114cm, price £45.00.
houses have invested a great deal of effort into this folksy
look. Gucci in particular has set a trend that many mass
retailers are following. Their luxe 1970s look uses
striking colour mixes, with a classic palette of black or inky
blue tones as a base, peppered with brilliant highlights of
garnet crimson red. They also use white,
gold as well as the earthy tones found in more natural dyes.
Their autumn catwalk collection captured rock chic, hippy and luxury Folk Boho
clothes all in
one runway display.
left - Gucci Garnet red large stripe bouclé double breast coat
and black embroidered wool chiffon tunic top, Shetland red and
ivory Kirov pattern cotton and silk scarf with fringes.
and centre - Runway outfits from Gucci's Autumn Winter 2008/9
Elements for inspiration include the black short sleeve high
neck bomber and black Shetland red drop printed silk square.
Centre right - Gucci black drop printed silk muslin smock
As is often the case, the runway looks were soon reproduced by the high street.
They are not exact copies, but retailers certainly have this
trend summed up, as you will see further down this page.
Dropped waist dresses, tops and
skirts have all hit the mass market shopping malls. You will also see the
continuing trend of the gilet, furry cropped
top, or military braided jacket.
Far right - Folk Boho interpretation from Matalan Autumn
2008/Winter 2009 Fashion Collection.
The colouration is interesting, note a black or navy base,
which is lifted
with red, pink or yellow hues. The colour
and pattern combinations have been seen all over Europe,
and they have also been used in the craftwork of many nations,
for example, in traditional Persian woven carpets.
The gilet vest is one of the fastest ways of
adopting a plainer Folk Boho look. For greater warmth
choose jackets similar to these
skin/fur short coats if you are less keen on brighter stylised
floral embroidered looks.
Above far left - New Look Autumn/Winter 2008
Collection (Women's), Gilet £40/€60, Check Shirt £18/€28, Jeans
Heart Necklace £18/€28
Centre - Oscar de la Renta coat.
Right - Hermes coat and bag.
These are my favourite folksy garments from online and high
street retailers for Autumn 2008. Visually, the dresses have all the Folk Boho pattern
elements that capture this combination of the latest flirtation with eclectic ethnic.
the paisley feather form motifs, also the hearts, ogees, teardrops and overblown
colourful flowers, often roses. Moreover, admire small,
medium and large repeat motifs. Arrangements
such as this mostly use border printed fabric which can be
manipulated to bring pattern into an area of main focus, such as
sleeves into cuffs, hemline and waistlines. Patterns flow
and meander into each other making this a very feminine girl to
Above left - George at ASDA - AW08 - George Women Print dress
Centre - Tunic top dress from Wallis Statement range for Autumn
Far Right - Smock Tunic from T.K.Maxx Chiffon bohemian smock
£24.99/€34.99 - Autumn 2008/9, but dependant on random stock as
Right - George at ASDA Ethnic print skirt £12 - AW08 - G21
TK Maxx say 'TK Maxx is an off-price retailer that sells
designer and high street brands in womenswear, menswear,
childrenswear, gifts, accessories and homeware at up to 60% off
the RRP. This 'off-price' shopping offers a mix of
predominately current season designer and high street items all
at up to 60% off the recommended retail price. The amazing deals
can be passed on to customers because the stores offer a no
frills operation. Each store has over 50,000 items in stock and
will sell one fifth of all stock every week so there’s 10,000
new items arriving in store every week. This fast turnover
combined with daily deliveries means that stock is always
This Autumn 2008/ Winter 2009 is rich with rose embellished
materials. The skirt above has a traditional paisley
border and then a small all-over rose pattern. One way to adopt this
floral rose look is to buy a scarf;
it's an easy way to adopt the rose if you
don't see yourself in a totally floral garment.
Below left - Catwalk fashion inspiration for Autumn 2008/winter
2009 by Matthew Williamson. What a delicious riot of
colour and texture. I just love it when textile clothing
becomes a piece of wearable art.
Centre - Accessorize Gypsy Floral Scarf £15/ €23.50 August.
Left - Plumo Autumn 2008 - Kapre flower scarf, a gorgeous wool
scarf with striking folk style flower embroidery and tassels.
rich have always been able to afford complex woven patterned
fabric. Woven fabrics like
damask and brocade were once
very expensive; consequently, the poor made-do with stitchery, ribbon,
or braid. Another technique used by the less wealthy was
to sew fabric contrasts (appliqué) or ribbons onto plain materials so they
could wear those
garments at festivals and as Sunday best clothes.
The Gucci skirt shown here has been made using applied velvet
ribbons. Gucci, near left, features a black and white goat pleated
jacket with leather trim detail, black wool linen multi-ribbon
embroidered skirt and sequoia and brown silk scarf with tassels.
The centre outfit far left is from High street retailer
Warehouse Autumn 2008 range.
Warehouse - Blouse £45/€70, Skirt
£35/€55, Lace Insert Skirt £35/€55, Belt £35/€55. The two
folk outfits below show how designers return time and again to
traditional dress for fresh inspiration.
Poor peasants lacked access to expensive fabrics and they
compensated by creating highly
decorative fabrics, which they intended to emulate rich woven
materials. Poor families traditionally did this by either
withdrawing threads to make designs, or they added contrast
threads which often followed the rectilinear nature of the weave,
and in this way they introduced rich patterns.
features a traditional regional Tyrolean dress; far right shows
traditional regional Hungarian dress, both designs are similar
in that they use a dirndl skirt,
blouse and bodice. Each is wonderful source
material for Boho chic designers.
The elements of folklore costume and embroidery can easily
be traced to European regions such as the Tirol, the Black
Forest, Rumania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine. But comparable
elements also exist in Celtic patterns and Scandinavian designs.
The structure of such folkloric designs is based on following
a grid, and then making a repeating basic motif. Another
design feature is the way variety of
scale is built up by using small medium and large versions of the motif. This creates rhythm in a design. Plus an endless range of style
variation can be created by using mirror image, 45˚corner
angles, plus positive and
negative repeat motifs. It is interesting to trace how so many regional
differences exist, just by manipulating rudiments within a
simple pattern, yet they magically retain a unity.
Traditional folkloric patterns also favour floral forms.
especially prominent, and often intertwined with leaves,
boughs and birds. Indeed, anywhere you find cloth and
find rose decoration. A famous boudoir use of the rose was in Barbola mirrors
and also in fine petit point brush and hand mirror backs of
dressing table accessories. In the 1950s, satin dress cotton smothered
in roses was one of the most popular female fabrics of the era.
It's not just female clothes that have been smothered in roses. Men's vests
the past heavily adorned with roses and floribunda. Right -
Rumanian embroidered lambskin vest for a man and from the
Many of the patterns were passed through generations of
families, and this is how the regional pattern variations we see
today came into creation. Dull cloth once embellished in
this way becomes alive, especially when paired with a pure
white, ivory or cream blouse. No wonder top fashion
designers continue to plunder this area from a pattern library
that is so fertile and thus enriches our wardrobes with exciting
new fashion clothing.
This page has been about the
latest fashion trends for Folk Boho
clothes that will be in the
shops this Autumn 2008, Winter 2009.
Copyright of designer fur images courtesy of IFTF.
Special thanks to prshots
with images courtesy of Swarovski, Asda, Matalan, Wallis,
Warehouse, Plumo, and personal collection.
Header details - IFTF image of Gucci Garnet red large stripe
bouclé double breast coat and black embroidered wool chiffon
tunic top, Shetland red and ivory Kirov pattern cotton and silk
scarf with fringes.
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