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Mario Testino Shoot “High Plains Drifter” is Courageous with Color and Print

May 4, 2012 By Sarah Humphries

Color, ethnic inspirations, and bold prints are certainly in this summer and there is no greater proof than Mario Testino’s photo shoot for the May issue of Vogue UK. The editorial, called “High Plains Drifter,” features Carmen Kass as a colorful spectacle amongst an unearthly looking desert land. She lounges in elaborately adorned looks, a veritably futuristic import, surrounded by coarse stones and mischievous looking monkeys. Vogue UK explains the complexity behind unique editorial look: “Layer the cultural richness of artisan-led chic- raffia, fringing, weave, and embroideries- for the nomadic fashion spirit of now.”

The photos give the sense of a modern tribal warrior. Featuring huge earrings and extreme jewelry, stylist Lucinda Chambers is making an over the top statement using many ostentatious pieces simultaneously. She even uses mammoth bangles as earrings in several of the photos, making a dramatic impact. In the first photo, an elegant Gucci chain fringe dress is paired with a neon windbreaker and exotic printed umbrella.

Powerful print and color mixing of this caliber is not your average color-blocking look. The complexity of these garments works in the beautifully considered  way in which the startling variety of prints compliment each other. Not only are prints layered upon one another, but texture variations are utilized. The looks often have heavily embroidered fabrics alongside textural cutouts and several slick cuffs and bangles.

One cannot help of think of fashion icon, Iris Apfel, when viewing the expert layering of these looks. Apfel is known around the world for her heavy use of sumptuous prints and powerful ethnic accessories. Over the top tribal inspired fashion is an idea which can be taken into the real world if done with thought and confidence. Mixing of prints and large, bold color will be a definite street trend this summer.

By: Sarah Humphries

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