Wanderlust, a noun with the meaning “strong desire to travel.” Dubbed as one of the biggest macro trends of 2017, the wanderlust theme illustrates the cultural strive to discover beauty in unexpected areas across all four corners of the globe.

Wanderlust | Photography by @lucylaucht

Hitting the global trail to discover unique treasures constructed with care amidst the plundering concepts from new territories such as Cuba, Bolivia and Iran, a wave of wanderlust has hit the fashion landscape encompassed with the intrigue of the exotic.

The styles once associated with hippie and indie treasure hunters has now been revolutionised by luxury brands, reinforcing fashions long love affair with exotica. (The New-York Times, 2015)

Reem Acra | 2016 Collection

Adopting exotic embellishments with an assortment of bold colours, Lebanese designer Reem Acra gave intricate nods to traditional Middle Eastern beading techniques. Aiming to link her past and present life, Acra delivers aspects of her rich heritage through her array of dazzling belts collected from the bazaars of Beirut to the far corners of the globe; 

“I was going to flea markets all over the world and collecting belts off of people!” (Vogue, 2016)

Naeem Khan |  2016 Collection

Drawing inspiration from renowned Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, the Naeem Khan Spring 2016 collection honours a time of daring elegance. The chandelier earrings paired with 1920s headwear were representative of Hollywoods Golden era, graced with an additional tropical twist. The Indian-American designer presented an explosion of embellishment fused with touches of bohemia. With vibrant tones of bougainvillea pink, lilac, and marigold floating down the runway, Khans use of florals and elegance resembled the unique style of the Mexican artist Kahlo.

Tommy Hilfiger | 2016 Collection

With the strong exotic setting of palm trees, sun-soaked beaches and island life embedded within the wanderlust trend, designs are often representative of the first wave of free-spirited travelers that embarked on Jamaica in the late 60s. Drawing inspiration from the tropical backdrop of Isle of Mustique combined with the influence of Bob Marley, designer Tommy Hilfiger hosts a radiant collection of masterful crochet, knitted bucket hats, mesh vests and floor-length cover-ups. (Vogue, 2015)

With neighbouring Caribbean countries such as Cuba opening their gates to the world, the exotic territory will fast become an avid region of exploration and design discovery. (BBC, 2016)

Christopher Kane | 2016 Collection

Giving hemlines, bodices, sleeves and collars a whole new lease of life, the fringe is set for a nostalgic return with a bohemian twist.

Sacai | Faustine Steinmetz  | 2016 Collection

The 1920’s elegant staple has been tailored to adorn tribal, Western and even denim styles with a spectrum of intricate patterns and aesthetics.

Greg Lauren | 2016 Collection

Adopting earthy tones and a camouflage aesthetic, utility wear is making a return in the form of vintage military fabrics, pieced-together jackets and hip-slung trousers. Debuting this look, designer Greg Lauren claims he is “moving forward while honouring the past.” The khaki tones are used to empower women whilst the army drabs and rumpled suits relate to the wanderlust themes of strength and discovery.

As more consumers begin to gravitate from the superficial lifestyle of consumerism towards enriching their lives with travel experience, the notion of “doing beats buying” is rapidly intensifying. As fashion houses continue to look to the organic beauty of the earth and its vast cultures, the constant strive to embrace the unexplored makes wanderlust one of the most prominent trends of 2017.