The spirit of wanderlust inspires fashion for spring. Stephanie Smith has advice on how to work the world traveller trend.
Fashion can be accused of many crimes against humanity – promoting over-slimness, exploiting workers in the developing world, encouraging narcissism and vanity, plus no doubt countless ecological misdemeanours – but one thing it cannot be accused of is insularity.
By its very nature, fashion looks outward, and in all directions. It is constantly, endlessly, searching for new inspiration, or for fresh ways of interpreting what has gone before.
It misses nothing, digests everything and – although it might sometimes take a while to ruminate – it usually manages to create something beautiful or meaningful or maybe just useful, from it all.
The world traveller trend has been on the fashion and style scene for quite a while now, often allowing a dressed-down, more practical route into other seasonal themes, for example, mixing in walk-worthy flat sandals and boots, and versatile cover-ups and scarves.
Layering is a key aspect and, for that reason, it’s a trend much focused-on at trans-seasonal times of the year, when we don’t know what the weather is going to do, so need to be prepared.
This year, perhaps more than any before, fashion really has gone global, extending its reach further and wider than ever.
These have to be clothes and accessories you can move in (so mercifully far, far away from all those horrible tight-fitting body-con frocks we are still being offered – female TV weather presenters seem to love them and don’t see any irony whatsoever in looking all trussed up as they stand before maps of land and sea, explaining what the sun, the wind and the rain are up to).
On the international catwalks, designers found inspiration in the four corners of the Earth, with nomadic and South American influenced looks particularly strong and wearable.
Fringing is key. For example, Roberto Cavalli served a striking all-black ensemble, with cropped loose-fitting trousers teamed with a beaded shirt and long matching fringed coat, plus sandals, long tassel necklace and chain belt, blending together elements of Mexico and the Wild East with exotic eastern opulence.
The “haute-hippy” look gets a luxe makeover with pyjama suits and scarf-inspired tops and tunics, often in silky fabrics and prints derived from India, Africa and South America, with geometric, repeating patterns.
Rules are few but, to update to this season, this dense geometry of pattern is key. You can throw in neutrals, such as nude or khaki loose (but not baggy) trousers, or add a splash of animal print.
Vibrant block colours, such as this season’s liquid orange and lime, make a great base, perhaps as a tunic or all-in-one. Add summer boots or flat sandals, a wide scarf, and you’re good to go.