Monday, June 23, 2008

Playing Dress-Up: Summer Safari Trend

Out of Africa...The Flame Trees of Thika...Khakis...Ethnic jewelry...Safaris...A big trend in fashion at the moment is the safari look, and I couldn't be happier. Granted I am not all that big on fashion in terms of wearing it - I'm most comfortable in clothes that are comfortable, which for me includes drawstring shorts or pants (no waist constriction for me please), loose billowy dresses (fitted? no way, jose), and comfy shirts in soft natural fabrics. My "style", if it's considered style, never follows trends, well...except perhaps where dress patterns are concerned.

That being said, I do like to look at fashion mags or websites from time to time, and do a little seasonal trendspotting especially in reference to dresses, colors, and overall themes. I love to find out what colors are "in" - don't really know why. This spring and summer, one of the fashion trends is the colonial safari look. Like this...

and this...
I loved this style during the part of my early years when the Australian outback was all the rage, and Banana Republic used to sell clothes in only one color - tan, most likely inspired by the epic Out of Africa, the 1980's The English Patient. I used to try and replicate the safari look by buying and wearing those crisp khaki shirts (but I had one in fuschia?) and beaded necklaces and bracelets, which could have been made out of ivory...but weren't.

My fascination with the safari look truly began I think when I watched The Flame Trees of Thika with Hayley Mills, Ben Cross, and little Holly Aird. It was a magical series which impressed itself heavily upon its young viewers in the vein of The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, and more recently The Spiderwick Chronicles, although The Flame Trees of Thika was set in the real world, and not a fantastical one.


The costumes played a crucial role in creating the ambiance of the story, while the setting played another. I remember the breathtaking scenery in that series, filmed in Kenya, quite vividly - from those heavenly sunsets to the inspired photographic framing of the trees...oh those beautiful flame trees. I wish I could find one of those screenshots to show you.

(Photo at top is from Neiman Marcus, at middle is from HubPages, and at bottom is from The Book Shelf)

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