Ethnic Influence

The latest and greatest looks from across the globe

Complex prints, nomadic nods and jewel-toned suede fringe all make their way onto fashion’s main stage this year, taking inspiration from all over the world and giving everyone from the fashion forward to the classically conservative plenty to play with, sartorially speaking. What’s in store for 2016? Here are just a few of the latest ethnically-influenced trends and how to make them work for you!
An ancestral edge
High fashion always filters down to the High Street and from the bright colors and asymmetrical drawings of Just Cavalli to the full-blown Mongolian patterns on Anna Sui’s line, this year’s runway shows were steeped in tribal tradition. Even classic designers like Burberry dared to get a little busier than usual, filling out their standard simple swaths with high contrast shades and patterns a plenty. With that in mind, expect to see prints galore in department stores this year – from leggings to dresses to – 90’s flashback – matching (or non-matching!) separate sets. But if a palette of prints seems like overkill to you, don’t worry. A simple scarf with the design of your choice can add flair to the most monochromatic ensemble and keep you on trend.
Bling it on
The same adaptability principle can be applied to the ongoing obsession with mixed metallics. Silver, gold, bronze (and any combination of these Egyptian and Indian inspired hues), made their way from runway to real world in 2015 and will continue to dominate this year, offering opportunities to sparkle from head to toe… or anywhere in between. Whether you opt for understated gold stitching in an elaborate pattern, shoulder grazing chandelier earrings, or a full-blown silver jumpsuit is up to your style… and the occasion. The point is, feel free to shine!
East meets west 
And finally, in what may just be the most exciting – or certainly original – trend this year, designers are finding ways to juxtapose traditional garb with modern fashion, giving way to all kinds of combos. Suit jackets with saris, structured midriff tops with palazzo pants and capes over everything are just a few of the ways cultures and eras are intersecting, granting us license to be creative. So go for it – and bask in the unexpected results!
Stephanie K. Smith is a freelance writer working across mediums. Her pieces have appeared on sites ranging from to National Lampoon and she’s written television pilots for Fox, CBS, The CW and Legendary Television. She lives in Los Angeles with her son, Dash and their (girl) cat, Fred.

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