This Summer’s Bohemian Rhapsody

June 27, 2009 • Magazine

This Summer's Bohemian Rhapsody

This Summer's Bohemian Rhapsody

Sat, 2009-06-27 06:00

Andra Naylor

During a recent dinner with family, we had an interesting side conversation about the origin of the word “bohemian”. My mother knew Bohemia was an area in central Europe (now the Czech Republic), while my sister attributed it to the untraditional and romanticized lifestyle of struggling artists and writers (thank you Moulin Rouge). I, of course, referenced the fashion movement, which has consistently reappeared through the years, and is especially relevant again this summer. Conversation soon resumed to other topics, but when it came time to write this week’s article, I found myself still thinking about Bohemian fashion, the basic elements of this trend and how to work it into your wardrobe.

Not quite flower child, a little bit gypsy, and often a bit fashion-forward, going Bohemian often involves an embellished organic print. Anna Sui’s Butterfly Rose Garden Dress is a perfect example of the detail and pattern that defines a bohemian look. Beading + fringe + appliques = this dress is serious ($1,861 at I also like Zimmerman’s Honey Rider Long Strapless Silk Dress ($299 at, which paired with simple sandals and minimal jewelry (think gold bangles) is just the right amount of boho.

There are certain colors that make me think bohemian and citrus orange is one of them. DKNY’s Silk Tank Dress ($275 at is delightfully simple and its tart shade spells summer boho luxe. A good deep purple also has the right laid-back quality to achieve a bohemian effect. Geren Ford’s Silk Drawstring Halter Dress ($317 at is swingy and airy, and styled with smoky eyes and just-out-of bed hair, this look is an unintimidating initiation into bohemian fashion.

Like with the colorful silk dresses, bohemian is not all folk and peasant. It can be simple and unassuming if it fits you better, much like Edun’s modern take with the Grass Collar Ainsley V Neck Dress in 100% cotton ($160 at Or how about Haute Hippie’s Embellished tank dress ($595 at with scoop neckline and metal beading? These dresses are a lovely updated take on billowy, white peasant shirts, but still portray that cool rock-chic attitude.

For accents, think seventies-inspired fringe and vintage jewelry. I like House of Harlow for bohemian accessories, and it’s no surprise that Nicole Richie is the flower child purveyor behind the new line. Try the Drop Earrings (they come in black, green or purple; $27 at or stack the House of Harlow Aztec bangles ($63 each at for full effect. For footwear, try Candela’s Fringed Thong Sandals in camel brown ($157.50 at or channel your inner boho with the simple addition of a Love Quotes fringed light and soft linen scarf ($85 at

Other great resources for bohemian-inspired designs are What Comes Around Goes Around ( and Karen Zambos Vintage Couture (

1. Anna Sui Butterfly Rose Garden Dress $1861
2. Zimmermann Honey Rider Long Strapless Silk Dress Sale $299
3. DKNY Silk Tank Dress $275
4. Geren Ford Halter Dress $317
5. Edun Grass Collar Ainsley V Neck Dress $160
6. Haute Hippie Embellished Tank Dress $595
7. House of Harlow Black Drop Earrings in Black Resin $31
8. Candela Fieco Fringed Thong Sandals Sale $157.50
9. Love Quotes Hand Knotted Fringe Scarf in Cosmopolitan $85

Image Layout: La Tonya Williams

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