Runway To Real Way: Join the Tribe! Mara Hoffman’s Aztec-Inspired Fiesta.

July 16, 2012 • Magazine, Runway To Real Way

Summer is the best time shake off the typical conventions of fashion and experiment with color, print and bold accessories. Plenty of spring/summer 2012 runway trends demonstrated just that, but few were as eye catching as the Aztec-inspired, tribal trend, curated especially well Mara Hoffman’s S/S ’12 collection. Styled as a presentation, Hoffman’s models stood against a simple black backdrop, so as to allow the vibrancy of her pieces to stand out. Intricate patterns spilled down maxi dresses, crept around colors, and coiled around wrists and necks. We’ve picked the best everyday pieces to mimic of Hoffman’s styling and allow everyone to join her tribe.

You can’t make much more of a statement than with a allover printed maxi dress. Hoffman made hers tailored and slim-fitting, with an almost Grecian shape and a Cleopatra-esque column print. Minimal accessories are required to keep the look from becoming too overwhelming, yet it fits any number of summer occasions, from a gala dinner to an outdoor concert. After searching high and low, we found Nicole Miller’s Racerback Tribal Print Dress which resonates the same sense of regality. The unique combination of purple, orange and white, as well as the looser cut will make you belle of the beach party.

But splashy prints aren’t just reserved for skirts and dresses. This summer saw a surge in printed pants, tribal sitting atop the ranks with floral and stripes. Hoffman matched her slacks with an identical printed blouse, which makes waves on the runway, but maybe be too dizzying for everyday. A more subtle, casual option comes courtesy of Joe’s Jeans, whose High Water style in Geranium Tribal is the definition of versatility. Throw a slouchy tank over it with layered necklaces for weekend shopping excursions, or belt it with a neutral button down for a playful punch of color at work. No matter how you slice it, tribal pants are no longer costumey. Unless, of course, you want them to be.

The simplest way to integrate an Aztec-inspired print into your wardrobe is with a gorgeous beaded necklace. Hoffman roped coils and coils around her models’ necks in an mosaic of bright colors and a variety of textures. The result added depth to even the simplest ensemble. Which is exactly what a statement piece like this can do to for a simple, thrown together outfit on hot summer days. Need to perk up a lunch? Spruce up a board meeting? Just feeling fancy? Something like Cara Couture’s “Tribal” Multistrand piece can turn a plain white t-shirt into a stylish look, with a price tag that will pay for itself after one wear.

Along that same line of thought, a tribal-printed bag slung over your shoulder is a definite no-brainer. Like shoes, we always need more bags. And in a chunky tote or shopper shape, it will get a ton of mileage no matter what you were with it. Hoffman’s striped satchel suggests a traditional Mexican pattern, often seen in blankets and tapestries, which could work anywhere from the beach to the farmer’s market. We saw that same sense of whimsy in the Rafe New York Tessa Trbal Print Tote, complete with woven straps and wood accents. If you can’t make it to the luxury of Mexico this summer, the Rafe tote — as well as the other Aztec-inspired tribal pieces included here — can bring the vibrancy of the cultural palette to your very own staycation!

1. Printed Maxi Dress
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: Nicole Miller Racerback Tribal Print Maxi Dress, $440

2. Printed Pants
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: Joe’s Jeans The High Water in Geranium Tribal, $178

3. Beaded Necklace
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: Cara Couture ‘Tribal’ Multistrand Necklace, $92

3. Printed Bag
Runway: Mara Hoffman Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: Rafe New York Tesa Tribal Print E/W Tote, now $150.99

Runway Photos: NYMag

Image Layout: Second City Style

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