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January 25, 2011

By now you know that I have an infatuation with prints and color and am very much inspired by African adornment.  Maybe it has something to do with my sister being in Africa, but I also think it has much to do with the trends seen on the Spring runways.  In an effort to round out all of our most recent posts on African and Ethnic trends, I wanted to highlight the TRIBAL influence on accessories this Spring.

Tribal inspiration

Tribal inspiration


I’ve always had a love for big and bold accessories and this Spring season there is no shortage of options available.  Channeling African queens and tribal adornment, we saw a huge trend in TRIBAL ACCESSORIES on the runways.


Tribal accessories from the Spring 2011 runways of Sass & Bide, Reed Krakoff, LAMB, VPL by Victoria Bartlett, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gareth Pugh, Kinder Aggugini, Rocco Barocco, Amanda Wakeley, Bright Young Things and Sachika

In Jewelry, heavy metals were seen in large choker necklaces and cuffs while rope accents were paired with horsehair and feathers.  Textured neck pieces channel tribal adornment and gold chokers channel the African queens.  Look for mixed metals and wood in large cuffs and heavy beading paired with gold and printed fabrics for necklaces.  Skins are occasionally mixed in while textures give the illusion of feathers and straw.  With so many options, the best thing to remember is BOLD IS BETTER.  Not for the meak, this trend is for a woman who knows her power and is not afraid to show it.


Tribal shoes on the Spring 2011 runways of Barbara Bui, Pringle of Scotland, Donna Karan, Matthew Williamson, Kenzo, Juan Carlos Obando, Dior, Reed Krakoff, Suno and Missoni

The same ideas were seen in shoes, mixing metals with leather and wood with tribal printed accents. Missoni featured African printed wrap around sandals while Kenzo presented prints in the season’s newest shoe silhouette:  the flat wedge. Other designers combined basket-weaving and wood inlay to tell their tribal story.  Feathers and horsehair were also strong with Reed Krakoff leading the trend.  From day to night, these statement shoes will be a perfect counterpart to some of Spring’s best trends.  With wood being such a huge emerging trend in accessories, I would favor Donna Karan’s combination platform sandals(top right).

What’s great about tribal accessories is their perfect blend with the modernity that has been seen in clothing.  Don’t think that  you should only buy these accessories if you wear an ethnic look. Bold accessories are best when worn with simple fluid or structured clothing allowing the emphasis to be on the accessories.  Special accessories like these are an investment in your wardrobe, you will always be able to pull them out and make a statement year after year regardless of what the trends are.  For my vintage shoppers, start hunting out bold metal accessories from the late 80’s and beaded bracelets and necklaces from the 70’s….and pile it all on!



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