top of page

Trend highlight: Wild West

original POLYCHROME trend mood board

image above original POLYCHROME moodboard - to see all of our trend groups see our Trend marketplace

It's always heartening to get affirmation from the runways that the trend you have been developing....

This week Dior lured the fashion world to a remote mountaintop in California to showed their western themed resort collection, with motifs inspired by Georgia O'Keefe, cave paintings, and tarot cards.

Ralph Lauren also showed western for his last fall runway - this is a recurring theme for this designer and an easy fit for his signature American style, but this show had more than the usual nod to the iconic American West.

There were so many indicators of this trend early on, but some of the most powerful ones were the influence of the music show Coachella and SxSW, the explosion last year of cacti as a motif, the wildly popular show, "Westworld", and also the much anticipated O'Keefe retrospective that took place at the Tate in 2016. This exhibit is over, but if you are interested in viewing some of O'Keefe's work, it is not too late to catch one going on now at the Brooklyn Museum, "Georgia O'Keefe: Living Modern", and another opening at the end of 2016 at the Peabody Essex, "Georgia O'Keefe: Art, Image, Style".

The Western theme seems to come up time and time again on runways, and not only those of American designers, I should add. For one thing, it is certainly motif-rich. The romanticized aesthetic of frontier clothing with its calico patterns, full skirts, pantaloons, and leather boots; the costume-like garb of bronc riders in rodeo shows; the rugged, utilitarian roots of cowboy attire. Embroidery, bandana patterns, embellished belt buckles, studs and bolo ties, and native American influences like beading, fringe, and bold graphic patterns. This genre is a goldmine of possibilities.

Also, it cannot be overstated that this style sensibility has a permanent place in the minds of many. Simply saying "the American West" conjures up images of outlaws, pioneers, lonely nights, dusty trails, endless prairie, and ghost towns. It is the stuff of legends. The iconic imagery of this time and place has been immortalized for better or for worse by Hollywood's fascination with the theme. Westerns were once an incredibly popular genre of film that has burned a certain nostalgia for this aesthetic into the collective memory of several generations of Americans and also been an exotic and captivating theme to viewers abroad. The characters in some of these Western legends took on larger than life proportions - and they continue to fuel the imaginations of filmmakers and dressmakers alike.


click through the gallery below to see some images from recent runway shows that have a Western influence :


Here at Polychrome, our pool of designers and artists are excited about this trend. For full access to our Wild West trend report, click here. New prints for this theme are being developed as we speak, take a peek below at a few that are already available in our shop.

clockwise from top left: KF17-001 | TP16-024 | SK17-002 | RP16-001 |KF17-001 | TP17-001


What are you looking forward to seeing in this trend? Leave your comments below!

Sources: Vogue|Caycee Black

* We intend no copyright infringement by displaying images from other sources on our site. Unless otherwise noted, all images are the property of their respective owners.

62 views0 comments
bottom of page