There is a common holiday blunder I like to call the Seminyak Sartorial Curse that goes something like this. Travel to tropical destination, buy all of the floaty maxi dresses in beautiful linens and cotton gauze. Get home to winter and your totally non-boho wardrobe. Cry when credit card bill arrives.
Sound familiar? Well, spare your tears because this summer boho is having a major moment.
Adwoa Aboah pairs her boho dress with runners for a twist on the trend. Photo: PA
Think floral embroidery, ruffles and lots of linen in cruisy maxi-dresses that can take you from beach to bar, or boardroom to bar (I’m detecting a theme here).
So how do you do the folk/ethnic trend without looking like a try-hard fauxhemian from central casting?
First, take some cues from this month’s Myer parade, where stylist Trevor Stones showed how you can embrace your inner hippie while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground (and wearing shoes).
Pairing back Morrison’s floaty dresses in white, marigold and ochre with chunkier shoes and jewellery instantly raised the street cred, while its luscious leaf-print separates can be tied back with wardrobe staples for workday wearability.
Boho twins … Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Photo: AP
Other key features of the trend include drawstrings, kaftan-inspired shapes, tassels and fringing, while colours are inspired by your spice cabinet: paprika, turmeric and cinnamon.
If you’re looking for a print, you can’t go wrong with paisley or pretty florals inspired by the great botanical illustrators of the 19th century such as Georg Dionysius Ehret.
Elizabeth Abegg from Byron-based Spell & the Gypsy Collective says you can totally incorporate the trend into your wardrobe without going the full-on hippie.
The key, dear reader, is to blend, blend, blend.
Go bold, or go home … Lily Collins. Photo: Evan Agostini
“Brands like us, as well as high-end designer labels like Chloe, Ulla Johnson and Isabel Marant, have woven it into the fabric of their story and it’s become a style rather than a trend,” she says.
Local heroes of the trend include Zimmermann Swim, Camilla, Lee Mathews and Alice McCall.
Abegg said her brand keeps things fresh by drawing inspiration from travels, both actual and virtual (thanks, Instagram), and pop culture.
“I remember seeing Forrest Gump when I was young and I just wanted to be Jenny so badly, she looked like my mum in the photos in our family album,” Abegg says.
Cannes do boho … Nicole Kidman. Photo: PA
Going vintage? Look for a gauze Indian gypsy dress or blouse, says Abegg.
Pair that blouse back with denim and wear a dress belted with tan flats.
“It’s all about a sense of effortlessness,” she says.
Since launching in Australia this year, Vestiare Collective has become a trove for shoppers with an eye for vintage treasures.
Australian label Morrison does boho with an edge. Photo: Lucas Dawson
Co-founder Fanny Moizant says Burberry is always a great interpreter of the trend, with its long floral dresses mixed with embroidery and suede fringing, while Chloe takes a more feminine approach with candy-coloured dresses and lace-up sandals.
She says any shopping list this summer should include a vintage embroidered peasant blouse or a suede cross-body bag.
“These items are popular year after year and cross over into many trends, making them stable investments,” she says.
Moizant is also a fan of Isabel Marant for folksy prints mixed with safari-style separates.
If you’re still looking for inspiration, check out celebrities including Kate Bosworth, who exemplifies summer-festival dressing by pairing 1970s safari styles with denim, suede, aviator sunglasses and feminine blouses.
Get the look
Spell & the Gypsy Collective, $189.
We Are Kindred, $349.
From St Xavier, $190.
Need more inspiration? Shop our editor’s picks