As you soak up the last few days of summer, now’s the time to start contemplating what exciting new trends you’ll be investing in this autumn. One look that’s repeatedly caught our eye on the catwalk is the Wild West trend, often referred to as Navajo (taking its name from a native South Western American tribe).
Tasselled ponchos, Navajo prints, beaded moccasins and fringed boots are top of the checklist, but to save you wandering into Halloween costume territory, follow our style tips on how to get this look right.
For autumn/winter 2011, Proenza Schouler took us on a road trip to Santa Fe to be as inspired as they were by Native American culture. The duo picked up some authentic blankets along the way and hit the computer to alter, pixilate and explode their patterns into their own digital designs.
While the designers took these psychedelic prints and clashed them against one another, in real life one geometric pattern too many and people will need 3D glasses just to look at you!
How to get the look
Your best bet is to do like Blake Lively in a poncho and jeans and take a single Native American style article of clothing and pair it with your own wardrobe staples (remember denim is also a key material here). Add a few indigenous accessories and you’re good to go.
Remember also that with heavier fabrics like chunky knits and ponchos, proportion is essential; balance them with a shorter hemline or tailoring to keep the look clean.
2011 is the year of the fringe. No designer knew this more than Isabel Marant, whose Navajo-inspired autumn collection is punctuated by miles and miles of fringing. Her fringe-trimmed over the knee leather boots, for example, are a ‘shoe-in’ as autumn’s It footwear.
Bulky Navajo knits skimmed the thigh above these boots and legs were then covered by tight jeans, dyed with pinto pony markings. Marant’s models also wore huge ponchos, bulky blazers and oversized puffa jackets in grey wool and felt with big hoods.
How to get the look
Accessorize with authenticity –bolo ties and Navajo hand-crafted jewellery are great ways to add subtle accents of the look to your outfit (think Vanessa Hudgens at Coachella festival).
If you’d only like to dip into the trend, make like Minka Kelly (pictured below) with a western print scarf. Electronic Sheep is our go-to resource for funky wool scarves that will make a statement without being too try hard trendy.
Get the look for less
While the catwalk is great for giving us inspiration – it’s out of reach for most. Luckily H&M, the hero of the highstreet, has some great staples and accessories to perfect your Wild West look. They’ve got lots of ponchos (€19.99) – our favourite being this white fringed one (pictured, 2) which seriously channels the Isabel Marant catwalk look.
This gorgeous brown, fringe-trimmed top (pictured, 1) can be worn with skinny jeans, over tea dresses or a long maxi – it’s real find at £24.99/€30.00
Also, this very versatile feather accessory (pictured, 3) can be worn in your hair, around waists, as necklaces or fashion with a scarf to create a customised halter top. £3.99/€5.00.
The result? The Navajo trend sorted for autumn winter 2011.
– Gillian Brett
Some other Navajo looks to inspire you