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  • Writer's pictureAngie Grimes

The Birth of "Boho-chic"

When you hear the word ‘Bohemian’, you may imagine a creative artist with a unique, colorful, and ‘hippie’ style, but have you ever wondered where that word originated from and why? I was curious and did some research. Like me, you might be surprised or you may be able to have a clearer picture of what you've heard over the years. This popular fashion movement was birthed from a fascinating culture over 200 years ago with roots in the artistic streets of 18th century Paris.

The Boho You Know

The Boho style you know and probably love today is a reflection of the 60's and 70's hippie movement. Modern Boho incorporates artisanal elements, color and prints that are carefree and whimsical, fun and effortless. This is a style that is open and free, contains natural elements and is meant to express your inner uniqueness and individuality.

The word "boho" dates back 100s of years beginning in Europe and it refers to an exotic sense of style. Boho is short for Bohemian and was associated with artists, intellectuals, and writers. It was also associated with people who preferred a nomadic lifestyle rejecting most forms of anything mainstream.

The term "Bohemian" began around the 18th century at the end of the French Revolution. After the French Revolution artists were forced into poverty leading them to embrace minimalistic and nomadic lifestyles in nature.

They began repurposing old and used materials and making them into artistic quirky designs. These people were then compared to the nomadic gypsies that migrated from Bohemia. The French society used the term in a derogatory way towards the nomadic Romani people, which in turn they slowly began to describe this new creative , intellectually driven artistic, and eccentric style.

Bohemian Through The Ages

After the French Revolution of the 18th century the Romantics joined the French Bohemians and began incorporating vibrant, free-flowing robes, hair accessories, and weathered fabrics to their assembles.

The 1950's rolls along and we have the "Beatnik" movement. They were fierce supporters of free speech and were non-conformists. They expressed their individuality through art, poetry, and literary works. The Beatniks sowed the seeds for the soon to come hippie culture of the 60's.

Post 60's , The Beatnik and Bohemians cultures transitions into the "Hippie" culture of the 1960's.

This culture was a combination of the non-conformist Beatnik's philosophy with the colorful free spirit Bohemian aesthetic, which you will see, shifts into what we now call "Modern Hippie" culture.

The 1960's Hippie culture expressed their individuality with colorful fabrics, soft and flowing dresses and robes, scarves, and kimonos with exotic prints. They accessorized their fashion statements with handcrafted boots, jewelry, tassels, and beaded embellishments. Elements of nature, floral prints and animal patterns in bright quirky color combinations were often flaunted in ethereal pride.

The hippie culture of the 60's gradually reinvents itself or should I say,

re introduces itself into the wardrobes of the 2000's and on into present day fashion statements. Today the Bohemian statements of days gone by have transitioned and have been infused with today's sensibilities. A blend that we now call "Boho-chic".

Boho-chic takes vibrant and flowy retro elements and adapts them into more of a contemporary look, yet retaining that messy, flowy, colorful, quirky vibe into the urban elements of today.

I am inspired by the origins of the Bohemian culture and enjoy using that foundation in my work today.

If you enjoyed this look into the history of the Bohemian culture and would like more blogs like this please let me know!

If you share some of the same mindset as the "Bohemians" through history or you just like the vibe, check out my hand made one-of-kind artisanal jewelry today!

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