The Autumn/Winter 2015 catwalks were swarming with ethnic references, as is our Ritual Wilderness collection. From bold, native American prints, to statement facial jewellery, to heavily embellished detailing, the emerging trend was undeniable.
We have seen fur trim and leather fringing before, but this time it was worked into the collections in such a raw and ritualistic manner, it was far more overt and latently tribal this time around. There was a heavily hand-made feel about many of the pieces, alongside a beautifully naive approach to print and colour. Here is a brief run-through of the key collections:
A suitcase of finery from Old Europe had scattered from a plane over the icy tundra and been taken up by an Inuit tribe, who had incorporated the garments into their own tribal attire. There was a hint of erotic cross-cultural clash in the tribal tattoo stockings, vast pelts, and tasseled braiding.
Proenza Schouler gave us a tribal masterclass in bold and daring prints topped off with masses of texture. Shaggy fur trims, eyelets, feathers, sequins and shredded shoes; this collection was a fashion feast for the eyes with so much attention to detail.
In Sacai’s collection, naturalistic undertones serve as the foundation for each outfit, with earthy browns and airy whites being the bases of multi-coloured flora and forestries of orange and leafy green. Draped tribal scarves and fringed fronts of crisp leather coats echo the natural approach, while the leather pockets structurally framing fur-hooded coats add a hunter-gatherer vibe.
Nothing of real value comes to us without real sacrifice. Following his show, Pugh talked about his fascination with “the idea of sacrificing yourself to something bigger than you are.” There was a bleak, dramatic, ritualistic nature to his presentation, particularly when his bare-breasted warrior queen stormed down the catwalk at the show’s end brandishing a huge red flag.
Tisci’s done septum rings before, but this season’s face jewellery was at another level. It was the kind of facial adornment and alteration usually only seen in remote clans. The swathed animal prints were very reminiscent of a tribal pelt slung over one shoulder, and the deconstructed furs added a certain rawness.
This season Pejoski was glossing the traditional aesthetics of Native American tribes—a mishmash of them, really. It’s not his intention to be accurate. But his take was certainly evocative; the draped shearlings, colourful faux furs, and embroidered blanket coats called to mind both classic Native American dress and contemporary club outfits.
As Queen of all the tribes, The Manish Arora muse exchanged the shaggy Mongolian wool, raw edged astrakhan and pleated kilts of her hunting days for luxurious fur trims, opulent brocades and velvets in jewel tones. The feathered facial adornment and handcrafted head and shoulder pieces complete the tribal aesthetic.