Chloe Fall Winter 2024 Runway Show
Image Courtesy of Chloe
April 18, 2024

Yes, We’re Having a Boho Chic Revival

Dust off your feather hair clips and your slouchy boots.

Before we had “Coachella: Day 1” outfits posted to Instagram, we had paparazzi shots of Sienna Miller at the Glastonbury Festival in 2004. Recently, the actress reprised her role as the always cool, enviable lady, when she posed pregnant on the winter cover of Vogue. But one can’t disregard Miller’s earlier instinct as a maternal figure: she is, after all, the Mother of Boho Chic, the popular noughties style that’s found its way back onto our mood boards. 

Image Courtesy of Chloe Fall/Winter 24

This past February, in Paris, Sienna Miller was in the front row to watch Boho Chic’s triumphant, billowing return from the fashion fringe. Designer Chemena Kamali’s debut at Chloé dazzled runway fanatics. Her collection was a lively breath of the 1970s, full of references to Karl Lagerfeld’s time at the brand. At Kamali’s urging, the luxury world welcomed back statement belts, carved wood wedges, and unexpected, flouncy layers with a warm embrace, indicating a fervor for the once well-loved and well-worn style. The ‘70s are also, of course, the decade that Boho Chic draws its foremost references from. Past and present converged: Kamali even worked as a young designer at Chloé during the noughties, style notes singing across decades. 

Other designers joined in on the fun. At Isabel Marant, fringe found its way onto not just jackets but carry-all purses and studded jeans. Zimmermann debuted fur biker jackets styled with ruffled, sheer lace gowns that expressed the Boho Chic urge to pair unexpected pieces. At Ulla Johnson, bright patterns and long hemlines made power dressing seem enjoyable rather than intimidating. 

Boho Chic and the Early Aughts

While the runways certainly captured the spirit of Boho Chic, then and now, the popularity of the style should be credited to the young, famous women of the early 2000s who wore it like their uniform, such as Nicole Richie, Mischa Barton, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. To come of age as a celebrity during this era was to be photographed by the paparazzi with your Balenciaga City Bag and a patterned head scarf. Perhaps Boho Chic’s spirit of freedom and playfulness is why the media darlings of the noughties embraced it.

Image Courtesy of PA

One can imagine a young celebrity grabbing at any sense of autonomy they can. Looking back at photos of these ‘00s icons, these girls look like they’re actually having fun with what they’re wearing. They look like themselves — or, at least, an off-duty version of themselves. Maybe girls are yearning for that liberated look again, itching to break the seams of their tight-fitting spandex leggings and perfectly-matching sets. Because, unlike athleisure wear, Boho Chic signals a genuine relaxation, a joie de vivre

Interestingly enough, with the Olsen twins now the faces of their smooth-lined luxury brand, The Row, one can barely imagine the pair embodying the eccentric elements of Boho Chic. One glance at their American minimalist approach to style today and one would gawk at the girls running famous people errands in their oversized designer bags and cowboy boots, buried in colorful layers. If The Row reflects their complete acceptance of calculated, cool adulthood, Boho Chic was the Olsen twins’ messy and fun embrace of their teenage years. They wore the heavy accessories of early 2000s fame well — spiritually and physically. 

The Boho Chic Revival

After the Quiet Luxury aesthetic dominated discourse and style round-ups in 2023, partly fueled by The Row’s rising popularity, Boho Chic has returned to us as a breath of lightheartedness. It encourages us to dress experimentally, but thoughtfully. After all, styling so many elements and making it seem effortless is an art. The mode makes us want to ditch our office jobs and run around in a sunny field (or, the streets of New York City).

Image Courtesy of Zimmerman Fall/Winter 24

In contrast, the now-trending “Corporate Fetish,” prizes clean tailoring and oversized, blunt blazers. It tries to convince you that air-conditioned office air feels just as empowering as lungs full of fresh, green air. Compared to the Coquette craze, Boho Chic shines because of its uninhibited, dressed-down femininity. It carries a light edge of recklessness, a wildness not found in neatly tied bows, ballet flats, or pastel pink. Boho chic is the teenager in between Coquette’s little girl and Corporate Fetish’s anxious adult. 

While the recent runway shows certainly cemented Boho Chic’s return, there had been earlier whispers of its renaissance. Hindsight is only 20/20, of course (once you’ve put on designer sunglasses). This past year, for instance, we saw the leather disc belt as a major it girl accessory. What’s more Boho Chic than a vintage-looking, oversized belt cinching the waist of a flowy dress? These belts might look as if they were plucked from a thrift store where a hippie had just deposited her vintage loot of accessories, but fast-fashion has been quick to replicate the look. You only need to Google “round leather belt” or “studded leather coin belt” to find synthetic dupes for under twenty dollars. 

How To Nail The Trend

Accessorizing with leather — belts, bags, and boots — is a common thread through Boho Chic’s colored style tapestry. In fact, this suggests how many elements of Boho Chic are in conversation with Western style. Even before Beyonce’s Cowboy Carter release, cowboy boots trending kicked up the dust on any previous notion that they could only be worn in the country. Designer, vintage, and fast fashion iterations of the quintessential American abound at every retailer. Generally, both ways of dressing behold the spirit of freedom and confidence, in dressing how one likes, and doing so with nothing subdued. These styles imply that the wearer can’t be tamed or wrangled — and one needn’t try. Overall, the Wild West of fashion is always seizing something old and reinventing in refreshed contexts, whether it be cowboy boots on the subway or a Boho Chic look on the luxury runway in Paris. 

Image Courtesy of Chloe Fall/Winter 24

Ultimately, Boho Chic’s revival might also be a symptom of collective nostalgia. TikTok is already eulogizing 2014’s Tumblr and 2016’s “King Kylie” eras — which feel too recent to return to. Fashion, especially on the runway, bristles with wistful glances backward. Of course, we can’t ever return to the past — to our youth, to live music festivals without iPhones, or to fashion media before Instagram. However, we can dress the part. 

Maren Beverly

Maren writes out of Brooklyn and works in the beauty industry. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2023 and loved her four years reading and writing under the southern sun. There, she wrote for her school's fashion magazine, which sparked her love of the business. Now, you can find her in the city decorating her dresser with fragrances and fresh flowers, perusing vintage shops for summer dresses, or writing creatively with a dirty chai in hand.

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