Every spring fashion magazines are filled with the word bohemian. What does that word even mean? Originally it was used to describe people from Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Now it is used to describe people who “live free of regard for conventional rules and practices.” It also describes a gypsy lifestyle and is usually in reference to artists and writers.
The bohemian style dates back to the pre-Raphaelite movement in the 1800’s. Certain artsy women defied the fashions of the day by forgoing their corsets and crinolines. There were also cases of women wearing flowers in their hair in order to slightly rebel from the oppression of the men in their lives.
Any time someone wears clothing that is not socially acceptable, they can be considered bohemian. The cropped hairstyles of the 1920’s were originally labeled as bohemian – same with the all black clothing of the Rive Gauche in Paris. The beatniks were
certainly labeled as bohemian with their blue jeans and black turtlenecks. The beatniks then lead to the hippie style of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Since then, bohemian style icons have included Kate Moss and Mary-Kate Olsen.
Today, the typical bohemian girl has loosely curled hair, wears large sunglasses usually with excessive jewellery. When I think of the term bohemian I imagine a girl with tanned skin, ombré hair in loose curls, denim cut-offs, and some sort of crocheted top. To me, this look is very West Coast and also makes me think of Southern California. It embodies a free spirit and seems perfect for summertime.
Kirstie Campbell, JCI Fashion Student