Spring is really proving to be quite the in-your-face, bold season. It's all bright colors, strong patterns and serious texture. And a major source of power for this season's punch comes from tribal inspired looks. Tribal prints are pretty hard to mess up. At their worst their harmless -- maybe guilty of busying up an outfit too much, but busy is in so whatever -- and at their best they can create a mesmerizing look, a powerful embodiment suggestive of personality and whimsy. The art of wearing tribal prints fundamentally boils down to balance. A brightly colored top with heavy handed lines patterned throughout combined with a dark skinny and the DOLORES? Done. Derek Lim demonstrated this balance perfectly in his collection, showing a geometric African print dress under a black loose knit top and basic white pumps. Similarly, Donna Karen drew influence from Haiti and presented a black and white busy tribal print body con dress played down by neutral side panels and paired up with super minimal strappy heels. So there you have it -- tribal for beginners. Now we move on to the advanced coursework. As previously mentioned: busy is IN. We're certainly in the midst of a more is more phenomenon. Pattern mixing (or "pattern-splosion" as we like to call it) is a trial and error affair. In order to do this, a mirror works but as we learned from genius innovator Cher Horowitz in the groundbreaking film Clueless, "Never trust a mirror, I always take Polaroids." You have to really take a step back and make sure that you're not crossing into homeless//accidental Chinese hipster territory. The line is thin. Gwen Stefani's line L.A.M.B. presented an impeccable take on pattern mixing as well as monochromatism with her head to toe tribal suit paired with royal blue wide strap sandals. The tailoring on this look is so spot on and the high messy bun reinforces the playful elements going on here. Proenza Schouler brings another important element into this tribal conversation: texture. Not only have they presented some interesting pattern mixing with a striped belled skirt worn with a bold tribal long sleeved crew neck sweater. The sweater appears to be a fine knit while the skirt is made of metallic strips of a coarser fabric. [caption id="attachment_8040" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Derek Lam"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8041" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Donna Karan"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8042" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="L.A.M.B."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8043" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Proenza Schouler"][/caption] The trend made its way into accessories as well, with tribal accented jewelry, bags and the like all over the runways. In the more is more category we have Sass & Bide showing an intricate tribal print on a short jersey dress worn with a massive necklace -- really more of a shield -- featuring different shaped stones and lined with black feathers. The whole look is topped off with fingerless above the elbow black leather gloves and a bit of welcome simplicity in the form of black basic pumps. Then on the other end of the spectrum we have J. Mendel who presented an abstract geometric tribal print on a cute little shift dress paired with shoes that create a tribal print effect in the lay of the straps. The look is much more subdued but still uses tribal head to toe in bright yellow, orange and green. [caption id="attachment_8044" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Sass & Bide"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8045" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="J. Mendel"][/caption] The tribal touches on the accessories themselves range from high grade opulence to subtle suggestion. Missoni's clutches combine a tortoise shell base with bright green and blue bead detailing and a bright gold metal strap. Necklaces at the Michael Kors show went way primitive using braided cord, horns and leather. Burberry went the more classic route while integrating the trend and only slightly hinted toward its involvement. The clutches in the show feature panels of various weaving directions and colorways creating a tribal feel but it's all brought back down to earth with an oversized decorative leather buckle. When it came time for us to bring tribal into our designs we went both the literal route and the way of suggestion. Our XENIA flat features a black Inca inspired pattern across the toe along with bold color panels and interesting side cut outs. ANDREA uses a tribal textile around the ankle to bring color and an element of playfulness to the style. ORI's all-over laser cut pattern uses basic shapes arranged with creative expertise to make up a tribal feel. This is absolutely our favorite trend for Spring and we strongly suggest you start playing with these ideas in your wardrobe if you haven't already! [caption id="attachment_8046" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Missoni"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8047" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Michael Kors"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8048" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Burberry"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8049" align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="ANDREA"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8051" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="XENIA"][/caption]