Straight from Paris' streets: Bourgeois bohemian style
() - July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - True fashionistas know that the trends which emerge from the streets are just as inspirational and influential as what designers show on the runways. Indeed, the popularity of blogs documenting how real people dress, such as Facehunter and Manila Style, underlines the importance of streetwear. Not to be confused with urbanwear — a style made famous by hip-hop artists — streetwear refers simply to the casual outfits worn by everyday women on the streets.

The origins of streetwear can be traced back to the 1960s during the popularity of the “youthquake” movement. With their desire for less formal but more comfortable clothes, young people started to establish a new dress code. Doing away with the stiffness of haute couture, that rarefied field of fashion which previously dictated style trends, they started looking to the streets for inspiration, forgoing dressy suits and dresses in favor of casual clothes such as jeans, casual trousers, knits, informal dresses and easy tops.

Women everywhere also quickly embraced prêt-a-porter or ready-to-wear fashion and its concept of “separates” dressing, which allowed women to freely mix and match garments. This last innovation proved to be very popular as it allowed women to come up with multiple looks with only a few pieces of clothing.

Over the years, streetwear has come to include various styles and aesthetics. In France, one streetwear style that has proven to be very popular is the look espoused by bourgeois bohemians — a breed of Parisians known for their amalgam of cool urbanism and bohemian sensibility.

The bourgeois bohemian look is easily recognizable, one which deftly mixes various influences to create something that’s both hip and modern. Vintage-style clothes, such as pastel-colored blouses and billowy dresses, which look like they came from the closet of someone’s grandmother, make up a large part of a bourgeois bohemian’s wardrobe. A dose of the exotic is also integral to bourgeois bohemian style, as proved by their love for ethnic details and tribal accessories. Classic country dressing, as exemplified by gingham and plaid garments, is another source of inspiration. Although it may seem like a mess on paper, French women pull off this quirky look by marrying these influences to classic French chic and a predilection for clean silhouettes. 

One brand that has epitomized the bourgeois bohemian style over the years is Promod, the premier French high-street brand which has been at the forefront of fashion for more than 30 years. This season, the label cements its position as the foremost purveyor of Gallic chic with a spring/summer collection that epitomizes bourgeois bohemian dressing.

With its Dreamy Poet collection, Promod plays with the bourgeois bohemians’ love of vintage clothing by offering romantic blouses, frilly skirts and printed dresses in crushed, silky fabrics. Meanwhile, their distinct love for exotica is served by the label’s Nomadic Trek, Pirate Girl and Indi collections which include such dramatic items as embroidered tanks and tunics, flowing skirts, paisley dresses, and draped harem trousers. Lastly, its New Prairie collection brings to mind countryside sojourns with its denim jeans, buffalo check shirts and rugged vests.

Promod stores are located at TriNoma, Greenbelt 5, SM Megamall Atrium, Ayala Cebu and SM Cebu North Wing. 

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