Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Look: Modern Bohemian

This is a look that has been on the catwalk in different guises for years, with brands like Bailey’s Burberry, Acne, Lanvin, the Kooples and E Tautz having prominently displayed the aesthetic throughout most of their recent collections, although with a varying style. 

The Bohemian Icons: The collection of images below showcases some of the more well known characters that are said to have lead a bohemian lifestyle – Dylan Thomas, Oscar Wilde and Bob Dylan along with a photograph of 1920s bohemians by August Sander:

On The Catwalk

The catwalk images below were taken from Burberry, Acne and Lanvin AW12 fashion weeks and demonstrate the kind of aesthetic you can achieve with bohemian inspired pieces. Overall, it’s a very romantic look that includes a lot of layering, oversizing and autumnal materials and colours – all concepts that are seasonally appropriate.

The modern take on this bohemian look includes some rock ‘n’ roll stalwarts, like the leather or denim jacket, giving the look a much more masculine and contemporary edge.

Get The Look: Modern Bohemian
Leading By Example: The Kooples

The Kooples are one brand who continually manage to nail contemporary, bohemian inspired looks – whether it be through their slick advertising campaigns or superb lookbooks.

Below you will find a few recent outfits created by Parisian brand, all of which are the epitome of the aesthetic we are looking to achieve today:

Key Pieces: Knits & Outerwear

Think of Dylan Thomas’ chunky roll necks and woollen jumpers for that casual, lounging around the home look. Consider materials here; wool, cashmere, silk or on trend alpaca or mohair. Look for cosy, non-synthetic fabrics and keep the patterns relatively toned down to maintain an elegant feel without looking like you’re trying too hard.

A classic white shirt under an oversized jumper will always be a winning combination, and a blazer layered over the top would keep the look refined, whereas a denim or leather jacket will provide a harder, more youthful edge.

For those winter nights, think about finishing with a dark trench or peacoat – both would complement the finely crafted layers you have underneath.

Make sure you think about layers when compiling an outfit and how the colours of each piece work together as a whole. Whether each piece is a slightly different shade/texture or you go along the colour blocking route, just remember that to maintain this bohemian aesthetic you need to stay away from anything too bright or neon and look for tones that complement the garment’s natural materials.
Key Pieces: Trousers
For this modern take on the bohemian look, an on trend pair of olive or burnt orange corduroys will inject life into your outfit via both colour and texture.


The bohemian look is certainly experiencing a strong resurgence. Not just on the catwalks of the finest fashion houses, but also on the streets of London’s Brick Lane, Berlin’s Kreuzberg and Paris’ Latin Quarter.

Even if the overall aesthetic is not something you’d like to achieve, the bohemian look is full of key trend pieces that are suitable for AW12 and many seasons to come.

Items like chunky roll necks, woollen trousers, a navy peacoat and a good pair of Chelsea boots are flexible enough to fit into your existing wardrobe effortlessly – easily being dressed up or down, allowing you to develop your own take on dishevelled elegance.

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