Tribal prints seem to have attracted the fantasy of fashionistas in a big way as a number of Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities are happily flaunting these in various modern styles, colours and silhouettes.
From Bollywood divas like Sonam Kapoor, Karisma Kapur, Malaika Arora Khan to international fashion icons like Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Garner and Gwen Stefani, all of them have been seen wearing outfits with tribal prints.
Fashion designer Indira Baikerikar Ghosh, who owns a label called Indira and has worked closely with high-end brands like Anu in Australia and Djgin in France, feels social influences have played a pivotal role in bringing back the trend.
"Social influence is always a part of setting a trend and fashion forecast. In today's socio-economic state, people want to move away from urban trend and return to the basics. So that is the reason why tribal art and culture is influencing the mind of the artist and the creator. The rural and relaxed art pleases the eye," Ghosh told IANS.
Homi Adajania's recent release "Cocktail" saw actresses Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty creating a style statement with tribal looks, while international reality TV star Kim Kardashian stepped out in a one-shoulder, lime green tribal print dress at the Wet Republic grand opening party in Las Vegas.
Designer Pria Kataaria Puri feels comfort is another factor behind tribal (also known as African trends) making a comeback in a huge way.
"Tribal prints are not only making a big comeback but also termed as hot trend for 2012. They are easy to carry as they have a classic vintage feel; however the silhouettes are very modern in the form of mini-dresses, swimsuits, kaftan tops, maxis, halters, rompers. It's just that one needs to carry it with confidence and wear it more casually than opting for it formally," Puri told IANS.
How to wear it the right way?
"Most tribal prints are strong and oversized; so they look best when worn as your outfit's focal point or by pairing them with solid or neutral separates," said designer Ritika Bharwani.
"If you are wearing a dress, silhouettes such as shift dresses, maxis or tunics in flowing fabrics work well. Dresses and tops with subtle beading, raffia or fringing details work well," she added.
Colour also plays an important role, said Bhirwani.
"Although tribal prints in deep desert hues or earthy colours are all-time favourites, brighter hues such as orange, yellow and red have been seen as the hottest colours on the runway this season. So if you're new to wearing tribal prints, it is better to start with subtle colours and then move on to trying out bolder hues," she said.
However, one has to be extra cautious while accessorising the tribal outfit so that one doesn't overdo it, according to accessory designer Pallavi Foley.
"Tribal trends are big, right from garments to accessories! This look should be dressed and styled with detail as the secret lies in keeping this look as an accent and not overdo it," she said.
"Brooches, necklaces and belts can be best option. Also, folk or rural theme-inspired accessories are more suited such as beaded flats or feather earrings or jewellery, clips, made of bone, wood or ivory," said Foley.
(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])