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June 22, 2011  | by: LaDawn Penigar-Mitchell

Just Cavalli Spring Runway Show

Express your adventurous side this summer with globally inspired designs and accessories. Exotic elements have refreshingly been incorporated into casual wear this fashion season and combined with an urban touch that makes the style wearable, escapist, sexy and fun. It’s a new kind of free-spirited elegance that creates a bold new aesthetic and provokes and teases in a strong, confident way. These exotic influences capture the spirit of the modern woman and allow her to wear clothes that are edgy yet glamorous.

Blumarine Spring Runway 2011

Many designers cited exotic locations like Turkey, India and Africa as some of the influences for their ready to wear collections, and their runway shows were stark evidence of their attempts to channel an exotic world into Western fashion. Marc Jacobs, Blumarine, Just Cavalli and Etro were just a few of the designers who had ethnic or exotic inspired pieces in their runway collections. Exotic, tribal influences borrowing elements from Africa and East India were prominent looks seen on the runway and the resulting look was strong but polished. Whether it was Aztec influences with vivid colors and tribal-inspired beading or oriental patterns on modern redesigned kimonos, these busy prints exuded exotic charm.

Anthropologie Denpasar Skirt

Fashion may have taken a turn to the wild side with all the exotics prints and animal embellishments, but the exotic looks from the runway can be easily worn as casual wear. Many clothing items and accessories adorned with exotic prints can be found in stores and online, and you can choose to go for either a muted or bold look. From glorious and lush tropical to African traditional prints, your summer outfit can be adventurous and eye-catching and make a bold fashion statement. Extraordinarily extravagant dresses that have been hand-embroidered in feathers, crystals, beads, silk tassels and metalwork or in vibrant shades such as jade, purple and fiery orange are just the thing to get you noticed.

Warehouse Tribal Maxi Dress

The animal print is the most classic example of exotic influences in fashion, but the design has been taken to new heights. From playful colors to unexpected pairings, the animal print has never looked so modern and new. Designers incorporated animal prints of all kinds in their spring collections and put a spin on the traditional prints. There were a lot of variations in the leopard print through more artful expressions than the typical brown and black spotted print. The often intimidating print was softened with beautiful feminine colors and transparent fabrics to create a fresh, girly look. Others added a twist to the bold print by taking an artsy route and using animal print in abstract, oversized patterns or mixing it with other prints. Burberry incorporated animal prints like snakeskin in bright colors and toughened it up with a biker style.

Jimmy Choo Neon Snakeskin Pump

Exotic prints are relaxed and carefree but with a hint of refined messiness. The global look is very urban and extremely chic and embraces a modern, sophisticated image in an exciting, daring way. Exotic influences scream provocative exuberance and effectively cultivate a stylish and urban look through bright colors and enchanting prints. Whether you want to look polished and chic or bohemian yet effortless, exoticism is the perfect way to mix it up this summer.

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