“I’m a girl from a good family who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a bohemian.”
― Brigitte Bardot
“She had acquired some of his gypsy ways, some of his nonchalance, his bohemian indiscipline. She had swung with him into the disorders of strewn clothes, spilled cigarette ashes, slipping into bed all dressed, falling asleep thus, indolence, timelessness... A region of chaos and moonlight. She liked it there.”
― Anaïs Nin
Cute patterns, loose dresses, tribal motifs, flower headbands, and tons of accessories define the bohemian modern fashion, right? Well, that couldn't be more wrong. What people conceive as bohemian today is actually called boho or even boho chic. This trend has been popularized by music festivals like Coachella where people, in some way, emulate the emblematic Woodstock festival from the late sixties. Although most of the elements from this trend are based on the bohemian fashion of the sixties and seventies, the origins of this lifestyle go back to the nineteenth century. More than just a fashion trend, it was a lifestyle where men and women could "freely" express their vision about life. For many years, this way of living evolved, but bohemians' main purpose remained almost intact; they expressed and lived their lives as they wanted, without normative rules or patterns to follow. However, this forced them to live in the shadows, or at least to be seen as outsiders. Here are 6 moments of the bohemian evolution that can inspire you to perfect your look and avoid falling in the commonplace of these Coachella costumes.
The first bohemians were a group of Gypsies that had to flee from Eastern Europe, to be precise, from Bohemia in the Czech Republic, during the mid-nineteenth century. They settled in cheap neighborhoods in the outskirts of Paris. What started as a necessity soon became a conviction. More than being united by a sense of nationalism, the original bohemians developed a lifestyle that's still inspiring many. They lived an openminded life that involved consumption of alcohol and drugs, as well as an open sexuality.
Their clothes were folkloric and colorful, and from this gypsy outfit, all the trends related to the bohemian style emerged. You can use loose skirts or big accessories to emulate this style. Remember, if you want to follow the bohemian lifestyle nowadays try not to overcharge it so that you don't look as an imitation.
The Belle Époque Aesthetic
This way of living was soon adopted by the artistic and intellectual circles of Paris during the iconic period known as the Belle Époque. Starting in the 1870s up until 1914. The start of the First World War sparked concern in the new bohemian circles and artists, writers, and academic became enmeshed in social and political matters. The Impressionist movement was born from this way of life and its artists rejected established social patterns.
Painters of the time were inspired by part-time prostitutes known as grisettes and as a result, the style became freer and more independent. Long, embroidered dresses were the norm and to evoke this style you can go for long and flowing dresses. To add a contemporary touch, go for transparent fabrics.
The Avant-Garde Movements of the 20s and 30s
The Teddy Girls of the 50s
The end of the Second World War would herald a new, powerful movement that had been simmering for eras. Women were constrained by fashion standards dictated by society but the ending of the war meant a freedom in clothing styles. Europe at the time was poverty stricken so people had to make do with what they had, and it was during those moments of need that true innovation occurred.
The 60s and 70s Peace and Love Trend
The 80s and 90s Underground Scene
Fashion is cyclical. We always look back to the past for inspiration and we adapt it to our needs and tastes. The bohemian lifestyle has permeated our subconscious since its birth in the 19th century. The idea of the artist living in a cheap flat and not caring about other thing but their craft is a lifestyle many wish they could inhabit, but in today's age and circumstance, it is more likely to be a glossy dream. This, however, doesn't mean you have to put to one side your aspirations and convictions, like any true bohemian, you thrive and survive by going against the tide.
You might like these 6 Outfits to Perfect the Hippie 2.0 Trend And Not Look Like A Pantomime.