A pinch of ethnicity #2
On this entry I’ll leave you with a few pics of the embroidered tunic I mentioned earlier. When I asked my brother to keep an eye out for them, I must say I had envisioned something different: a basic tunic in solid colors whose hemline would sit at the thighs, allowing for interesting plays with length. The thing about creating expectations and visual images in our minds, is that the element of surprise may backfire when the time comes.
Thankfully this wasn’t the case: besides knowing me well, my brother also has great taste. He got me an olive green cotton tunic with orange embroidered detailing on the front: definitely a bold piece. However, it poses the perfect opportunity to add visual interest to a look, by mixing vibrant colors and unusual design.
The minute I laid my eyes on it, I immediately pictured it paired with a shirt, blazer or even a tie. What I love about these pieces is that they’re usually a great way to make you think outside the box, challenging you to develop your creative side and come up with ways to make them work. Here, I used it as an overshirt, trying to oppose its relaxed nature with a more put together look: it’s amazing how a classic combo of khaki pants, white shirt and loafers is given a whole new life.
Olive green Moroccan tunic, white slim fit dress shirt by Paul Smith (S), khaki cotton trousers by Osklen (tailored - 40), brown distressed penny loafers by Lottusse (8.5), vintage braided belt, watch by Gucci.
A pinch of ethnicity #1
I’m a strong supporter of investing in timeless, classic pieces, which will last you a lifetime and are easily paired to form outstanding outfits. However, sometimes, adding a fresh twist to your look feels invigorating and just…right. An interesting, out of the ordinary way to raise the bar for a look, is by throwing ethnical items into the mix.
The thing about them is that they immediately catch your eye: I love gazing into these additions as they definitely set an outfit apart, breaking down that “off the rack” impression. How can I put it… they add background to your attire, it’s almost as if they have a story behind them, one that people will want to know; for me, they relate to vintage pieces in this way. I’m a sucker for the concept of collecting said items during my travels and wearing them proudly, reminiscing past journeys, places and people.
The trick when incorporating ethnic pieces is balance. If you go overboard it might look awkward and like you’re trying too much…on the other hand, the right piece might bring that special something into the picture. Perhaps the best way to get familiar with the concept is by starting with accessories: take a look at Joshua Kissi’s and Travis Gumb’s incredible collection of wrist jewelry, comprised of colorful beaded bracelets and engraved rings. Due to their scale, these pieces are hard to mess up, and even if you do, they won’t scream it to everybody else. Get it right though, and they can make a huge difference.
When you come to terms with smaller items, you might want to try something bolder, the likes of knitwear, tunics or jackets. I recently got two Moroccan pieces my brother brought back from a week long trip to the country: an ancient “berbere” belt and an embroidered tunic. Although I love them both, the belt blew me away; as for the tunic, it’s a welcome challenge to incorporate it on my daily ensemble. More on that on future posts.
On a recent trip to Morocco my brother was able to bring back some amazing findings. Besides a few traditional garments (more on that on a future post), he scored a couple of outstanding hand dyed embroidered rugs, in bright red and indigo blue. The craftsmanship and detailing on these is simply amazing…