Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Heidi Klum showing a little Navajo touch
By Allison Daniels
Bold. Graphic. Vibrant. These are key words to describe both the overall mood in fashion right now, and this week’s trend in particular: Navajo-inspired prints.
Do Native Americans actually have anything to do with these prints?
A connection, though indirect, does exist. In the late 1800s, the brand Pendleton Woolen Mills began creating patterns incorporating symbols from various tribes (in addition to non-Native American symbols).
Due to Pendleton’s widespread popularity, the woven garments with borrowed inspiration began to be perceived as original Native American patterns.
Regardless of the origins, the aboriginal-sourced patterns have recently been cropping up in runway shows like Vivienne Westwood and William Rast, at retailers like The Gap, and on style-setters like Ashlee Simpson, Jessica Alba, Heidi Klum and Nicole Richie.
Here are a few fun Navajo-print celeb adventurers from whom to learn:
Gwen Stefani, Ashley Tisdale, and Blake Lively go bold with printed caftans (to varying degrees of success). We’ll give Gwen the benefit of the (no) doubt as hers look like pedicure flip flops. While there’s no fashion excuse for Ashley’s hat, and Blake’s outfit could benefit from a heel (to balance the volume of her wrap), it is Miss Lively who comes the closest to getting the story right.
Rachel Bilson, as always, is pitch-perfect in a summery print tank, citrus-hued sandals, and a black pencil skirt and has also been known to rock the reverse, balancing prints on the bottom with solid classics up top.
How to best get the look?
When playing with prints, I recommend choosing one Navajo-print accent and keeping the rest of your pieces in solid colors (unless you feel confident that you’ve mastered the art of mixing prints). Toy with color combinations that are complimentary or contrasting to your printed item, but make sure to stay in the same tonal family (meaning stick with either cool colors OR warm colors – not both).
Here are some great Navajo-print items to warm up your wardrobe this winter:
Vero Moda Navajo Print Dress ($44.93, asos.com);Amanda Uprichard Joan Strapless Dress ($144.99, piperlime.com)
Navajo Print Pocket Tank ($14.99, fredflare.com); Navajo Printed Sweatshirt ($37.74, asos.com)
Fringed Navajo Print Scarf ($48, fredflare.com); Navajo Sweater-Shawl ($29.80, forever21.com)
Add one or two of these items to your cold-weather wardrobe and you’ll warm up the chilliest of climates!