The BoHo Show: Bohemian jewellery to complement your languid look

Way back in 1799, when a troupe of impoverished French artists were obliged to seek out an alternative, nomadic lifestyle in the wake of the bloody revolution that was raging across their home country, little did they know that they were set to spawn a very singular cultural movement, one that would never quite go out of fashion. Today, we know it as Bohemian style or “Bo ho” to those most au fait with its languid, laidback look.

Despite its 200-year-old status, it was the fine free thinkers of the 1960s and ’70s that truly bestowed upon Bohemianism its undoubted iconic status. Determined to distance themselves from the norms of society – rejecting its established institutions and its clothing conventions – these New Bohemians conjured up a whole new look for themselves, one characterized by loose-fitted silhouettes, hand-crafted jewellery and quirky colour combinations.

The notoriously free-spirited ladies of the time also gave full rein to their creativity, mixing and matching flowing, flowery outfits with accessories and jewels fashioned from everything from feathers to flowers. The ‘It’ girls of the day – including American actress Ali MacGraw and German model Anita Pallenberg – wholly embodied this style, happily embracing its easy-breezy look, complete with earthy earrings, beaded bracelets and faux-fur fripperies.

Indeed, it is mainly down to such colourfully-clad celebrities that the once-subversive Bohemian movement became more or less mainstream. By the early 2000s, such fashion icons as Kate Moss and Sienna Miller had wholly co-opted the look, while giving it a luxurious chic-chick makeover. Now, quite rightly sensing the way the winds of fashion are blowing, many haute joaillerie brands have come up with their own take on Bohemian jewellery as they set out to woo those who are equally liberal with their look as they are with their spending.

Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay