Sunday, February 15, 2009

Eegads! It's Ikat!

(Derek Lam Resort 08)

Shining sun and flowers in bloom are on their way, I swear! With spring just a couple of weeks away, it's time to start thinking of wardrobe changes. One of the biggest trends every spring is the print. From flowers to polka dots and plaids, spring prints have varied over the last few season but have remained very accessible. However, this spring that is about to change with the emergence of a new print, one that has its roots in the ancient cultural history of Southeast Asia and will most certainly give your wardrobe a fresh boost for the season, Ikat.

Ikat is actually not a print but a traditional style of weaving in which threads of fabric are resist-dyed and woven in a process very similar to tie-dye. First, tiny knots are tied into the fabric. When dipped into the dye, the knots resist the color, resulting in a lively pattern. The fabric is then (traditionally, at least) handwoven to create a unique design each time. The practice of Ikat weaving spread from Southeast Asia to Mexico and South America during the Age of Discovery, and was often viewed as a symbol of wealth and status.

Ikat continues to be an inspiration to modern designers whose names reflect wealth and status--the ethnic-inspired print showed up on the Spring and Fall 08 runways of name designers such as Balenciaga and Oscar de la Renta. Opting to mix the bold, global-tinged pattern with ultra-feminine, traditional pieces such as blazers, minis, and elegant heels. The result is an eye-catching clash of east-and-ethnic-meets-womanly-and-west.

Pair your ikat print pieces with a simplistic, traditional base to keep the look from being too over-the-top. Elegant accessories and heels will take you far with the look as well, so with sandals and subtle breezes in mind, peep our favorite ikat pieces for spring below and go out and cop you some!

(Roberto Cavalli at eluxury)

(Shoshanna at Shopbop)

(Vintage Top at NastyGal Vintage)

(Kimchi Blue Briefcase at Urban)

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