World Craft Trend

Incorporating a sartorial nod to global cultures into your wardrobe can be a bit of a gamble—go too far and you look like you’re wearing a Halloween costume, or even worse offend someone. Designers took us on an around-the-world trip this season, drawing inspiration from all cultures that are sure to add oomph to your Spring 2014 fashion step.

Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton presented a modern update on tribal armbands, sending out models with arms dripping from wrist to bicep in gold bands. The collection also referenced the neck rings of National Geographic fame with high zipper encrusted collared vests giving a stacked effect that was echoed at the bottom. Similarly, Dries Van Noten sent out sleeveless shirts in a tribal print with a shell-laden yolk.

Marc Jacobs re-worked the typically garish Hawaiian print shirts into mod black and white palm print shirts with a sharp silhouette, complete with matching shorts and shoes. At Stella Jean, the vivacious tropical inspired prints were mixed with stripes and gingham for a lively mish-mash of cultures. Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli infused their current medieval aesthetic with a dose of bright repetitive patterns reminiscent of Kenyan kente cloth. Givenchy went for a subtler nod to African culture with detailed beaded work in horizontal pattern, looking almost like the intricate scarification patterns found through out the continent and beyond. The softly draped red dresses were a reinterpretation of the classic red robes the Masai people wear finished with see-through man sandals.

On the other end of the spectrum, L’Wren Scott opted for a Geisha vibe, with cropped robes and wide statement obi belts. Her use of vibrant reds, contrasting whites and blacks were all a conscious nod to the Japanese culture. Japanese designer Tsumore Chisato made ‘40s pacific surfer illustrations chic on a blue jumpsuit, topped with the classic conical Asian hat.