Going native: tribal clothing makes a comeback

The new look for this summer is part primordial, part modern, and all tribal chic. Perhaps designers have taken to more bold looks to combat the waning economy, as these looks are certainly not for the faint of heart. Everything from fringes to borderline-dangerous spikes and grommets on accessories have made an appearance on the runway. Check out John Galliano for Dior’s take on the tribal look in stilettos: measurable with a meter stick, these treacherous numbers feature heels made of carved fertility goddess figurines. No word yet on how effective they are.

For those looking to ease into the ethnic trend, try something less painful and more subtle, like Louis Vuitton’s bangles, chokers, and cocktail rings. Balking in the face of excessively lavish gems and stones, designers have taken to more austere materials, such as wood, ivory, and resin to create this safari-gone-sexy look. This has nice consumer ramifications as well, as these pieces are less expensive but still pack a dramatic and fashionable punch.

Although the racy archaeologist look is particularly daring on women, men shouldn’t feel left out of this fresh fashion fad. An abundance of leather goods has been created in the spirit of the tribe, giving men another way to wear this sumptuous material with a refreshing spin. Surprisingly, designers have looked to menswear, rather than women’s clothing, to add color and patterns into their collections. See Gucci’s summer line for men, which features tribal jewelry, tooled leather coats, and even flower appliqués. While these accoutrements may traditionally be categorized as feminine, there’s nothing girly about a man who can confidently carry off a purple mank (man-tank) accented with luxurious, handcrafted leather accents.

So even if you can’t afford a fantastic safari getaway, you can definitely try out the trends that have been invading the runway from otherwise faraway African lands. Pair any and all of these daring statement pieces with neutrals like a khaki shiftdress or well-worn jeans and you’re ready to take on the dangers of domestic life. Just be sure to make the appropriate sacrifices to the fashion gods.

As written for MYiLIVE.com.

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