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Trend Report: Tribal Prints

Labels like Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga and Givenchy are all trying the latest spring/summer trend: tribal prints.

By nature, most trends have a starting point entrenched in the annals of history, but the latest fad to wow celebrities and tastemakers alike – tribal prints – is, without a doubt, one of the most deep-rooted. Thankfully, labels like Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga and Givenchy have all given the tribal print trend a contemporary spin for Spring/Summer 2010, while stylish starlets like Leighton Meester and Rihanna have added their own fresh touch to the look. With a fashion-forward pack like this leading the way, we’re sure that the tribal print is a trend you’ll love.

This season, there are plenty of possibilities. While traditional tribal prints were created from an earthy palette, the modern version of the tribal print has a neon twist and few boundaries. We suggest pairing your prints with solid basics (such as skinny jeans or a low-key tee), or, for a more directional take on the trend, mixing and matching with another tribal-printed piece. Whichever way you go, we are sure you’ll find all the inspiration you need from our five fashionable muses. With that, we present you with the latest edition of our Trend Report.

Although Leighton Meester (far left) is known for her ability to pull off cutting-edge designer looks, she truly impressed us in April at the New York premiere of Date Night – we love her gorgeous Giambattista Valli dress as much for its fringe detail as its geometric ikat print. To recreate this look, pick a tribal print dress with extra detail like sequins or textured fabric – we like French Connection’s Geo Sequin Dress ($213.05) and BCBGMaxazria’s Tribal Ricrac Printed Jersey Cowlneck Dress ($148). Add an edgy spin to your ensemble with buckled ankle boots like KG By Kurt Geiger’s Wonderwall Buckled Heeled Shoe Boots ($216.44).

Pop star Rihanna (second from left) is often praised for her edgy aesthetic and fashion-forward taste, so we weren’t surprised to see her unique twist on the tribal print trend – bold patterned pants paired with an unfussy black tee and leather Balenciaga sandals. Her confident ensemble is perfect for the girl-on-the-go thanks to its capacity for moving from day to night. For a similarly stylish ensemble, try Liquorish’s Tribal Pants ($114) or Topshop’s Ikat Print Jersey Hareems ($55) with a low-key tee like LNA’s Loose V-Neck Tee ($72). To finish off the look, we like Alexander Wang’s Alla Wedge Mules ($525). Of course, if harem pants aren’t your style, there is a chic alternative: Givenchy’s Black/White Leggings ($395).

Ever since Lauren Conrad (middle) first stepped into the style spotlight, her personal brand of casual Californian chic – effortlessly mixing on-trend pieces with basics – has helped her rise up through the fashion ranks. At a Golden Globes party in January, Lauren seamlessly paired a tribal-print Yumi Kim top with skinny jeans and lattice pumps. This unfussy look is easy to emulate. Start with a breezy top like Rebecca Taylor’s Ikat Doman Top ($265) or Tolani’s Ophellia Silk Paisley Tunic ($98) and then add BDG’s Ankle Cigarette Jeans ($54). Once your outfit is set, throw on a pair of Belle By Sigerson Morrison’s Knotted Platform Sandals ($125).

In stark contrast to her former co-worker, designer Whitney Port (second from right) opted for a more quirky take on the tribal print trend while at this year’s Coachella festival; her bright geo-tribal shorts are blended with a graphic tee to create a fashionable fusion of prints. When mixing and matching, almost anything goes, so play with your pieces and have fun. To get you off to a good start, we like Heritage1981’s Tribal Striped Denim Shorts ($16.90) and Blu Moon’s Short Shorts ($70), especially when juxtaposed with a graphic top like Truly Madly Deeply’s Tucson Geo Oversized Tee ($32) or Vero Moda’s Geo Print Oversize Tee ($35.51).

Our final dose of inspiration comes from Australian actress Isabel Lucas (far right), who in February wore a neon-hued, Aztec-inspired Josh Goot dress to the Daybreakers premiere in Sydney. Isabel’s vibrantly-colored dress is nicely offset with low-key makeup; similarly, her peep-toed pumps add a classic touch without stealing focus. To take a lesson in style from Isabel, start with a colorful frock like Tibi’s El Caribe Tie Waist Dress ($400.95) or Torn’s Lucy Mini Dress ($116). Complete your outfit with simple shoes: we like Beatrix Ong’s Naida Satin Platform Peep-Toe Shoes ($323) for night and Ecote’s Studded T-Strap Sandal ($19.99) for day.

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