PRINT WARS: Floral vs Tribal!!

Walking down any street in the UK this year, it would be near impossible to ignore the struggle for pole position between two very different fashion clans: Floral versus Ethnic.  In my eyes, two print styles couldn’t be more different; the delicate watercolour hues of wildflowers are smattered with soft edges, light materials and feminine cuts; the ethnic designs are often simple yet bold shapes, with coarse woven fabrics and heavy embellishment, a slightly gutsier statement than its competitor. J’adore Tresor sent our lovely intern Anna out into the wilds of London to see how the battle between English country garden and the rugged Nomadic wilds was being fought! Battered and bruised, Anna crawled back through the door laden with tales of the ethnic and floral tribes, and even a few incidents of combinations between the two

Flower Power

Flower Power

Florals are everywhere this summer, looking gorgeous on shirts, trousers, smocks, sunglasses and shoes

A particular trend that has come in this Spring/Summer is oversized blooms, giant petals create loud splashes of colour over muted backgrounds. This trend can only be worn with flat colours, and any bright or patterned accessories should be avoided (unless you enjoy looking like a circus clown that’s been in the rain). Kenzo, Jaeger, French Connection, MiuMiu and Gucci have all been sending their models down the catwalk looking like the definition of British garden party. Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons has a theory as to why everyone has jumped on to the flower basket, “In these austere times, there’s a need for optimism and that can be often be communicated through florals.” Is that right? Are we just trying to pretend that summer was actually nice this year? Is the busy schedule that prevents us from stopping and smelling the roses the exact reason we are wearing them on our sleeves (legs/feet/heads/bags)?? A common mistake that is often made is wearing all your florals at the same time, try to be conservative and ration yourself to one blossoming item per outfit! A good tip is to colour match your jewellery with your outfit, finding a bracelet, earrings or a necklace that accents the flowers on your outfit can make you feel classically couture!


Ethnic print has also exploded on to the scene in recent years, Celebrities such as Beyonce and Rihanna elevated the style, and RiRi in particular has made the bold two-tone prints wildly popular. The nomadic hipster look is sweeping the nation, and I must say, we at J’adore Tresor are enjoying the results (whether good, bad, or ugly)! One of the brains at the head of the trend was lawyer-turned-designer DuroOlowu who first used his Nigerian roots to create what was then titled ‘Afro Chic’. Three years on, and the inspiration for these prints are no longer constrained to the African Continent, but has spread much further afield; Ganado, Tapa, Batik, Ikat, Shibori, Aloha (Hawaiian), Chinle or Dutch Wax patterns are on every conceivable apparel on the high street, and have been gracelessly lumped together under one unimaginative category, ‘Tribal’ or ‘Ethnic’. Despite the naming of the trend being slightly ungrateful, the trend itself has brought forth a flood of attitude-loaded, vibrant pattern which cuts across the borders of culture (even if it’s not sure whose culture it was in the first place).

mix F&P

There has been a move to fusing the two different styles- J’adore!

Another great advantage of this is the ease with which you can wear such bright graphic patterns. You can instantly get the catwalk look by putting a boldlycoloured accessory with your standard jeans t-shirt combo.Mix tribal clothes with solid colours to avoid looking like a carnival on wheels, and accent outfits with muted jewellery that doesn’t overbear against the print. Tresor Paris’ Neptune collection has a selection of simple metallic bracelets and necklaces, which would blend effortlessly into both looks! Check out our favourite print/style combinations, and tell us what you think! Are you a Flower Power Princess, or a Voodoo-inspired Vixen, so comment below, send us your favourite pics & style tips, and check out our Pinterest… We want to hear from you!!



Share this