Walking down the street we generalize people. That persons punk, that persons preppy, that persons a hippie. We dress to our moods and what we like or consider trendy. But we don’t always know what’s behind the name of the fashion style we choose to project.
People often get the term hippie and boho confused. And some people don’t know what bohemian is at all. The concept of the “boho” look is fairly new. It’s original meaning is gypsy or traveler. An actual Bohemian person is a resident of the former Kingdom of Bohemia, now known as the Czech Republic.
Boho has made a few upgrades from the original gypsy look. The people who are truly boho and wear these clothes are often finding them in vintage stores. Being boho isn’t just looking the part. There’s an ideology that goes with it. They have certain beliefs.
Boho people think we should take care of our bodies and our earth. They are focused on preserving mind and material. Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people. In this context bohemians can be wanderers, adventures or vagabonds.
In English language, Bohemian first appeared in the 19th century to describe the non-traditional life styles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writer, journalism, musicians and actors. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox of political or social viewpoints which were often expressed through free love, frugality and voluntary poverty.
The term has become associated with various artistic or academic communities and is used as a generalized adjective describing such people, environs or situations. Bohemian is defined the American College Dictionary as “A person with artistic or intellectual tendencies, who lives and acts with no regard for conventional rules or behavior.”
By extension, Bohemia meant any place where one could live and work cheaply and behave unconventionally; a community of free souls beyond the pale of respectable society. Several neighborhoods became associated with bohemianism in the 19th and early 20th century. In Europe: Montmare and Montparnesse in Paris; Chelsea, Fizrovia and Soho in London; Schwabing in Munich; Skadarlija in Belgrade; Taban in Budapest. In the U.S.: Greenwich Village in New York City; Venice Beach, California, Topanga, California and Triburon California.
There is no real time period for this group because they still exist today. The boho look may have gone and came from style. Just because the look faded doesn’t mean the people who believed in being bohemian did.
The lifestyle of being boho is going against what everyone else is doing. Swimming against the current. There is no way you could tell if someone is a bohemian just by looking at them. In todays world people don’t voluntarily live on the street or starve themselves.
Being bohemians means you value art and creativity and don’t stereotype others. You think there is more to life then making money, having a big house and a fancy car. They want to know the meaning behind things and take care of things. They recycle and make efforts to make Earth last as long as possible in a healthy living environment.
Being bohemian has become more of a trend than a way of living. The people who are actually boho don’t shop at the stores mainstream society would consider boho. Free People is the top hippie/boho brand. But the clothes are expensive which goes against the bohemian values. They don’t buy expensive things. The people who want to look boho, but really aren’t, buy these clothes.
It makes you think, what are these people who are faking the boho look trying to show people? Do they want people to think they know how to be laid back trendy, or do they just into the look for the month? A lot of the people who wear this look don’t know the meaning behind it.
Sienna Miller is the celebrity who started the boho trend at an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2004. By Spring 2005, boho was almost ubiquitous in parts of London and was invading stores in almost every British high street. It’s adherents were sometimes referred to as the “Siennas.” That’s all it takes is someone who is going to be photographed to wear a style and it become popular.
Sienna came out with a clothing line called Twenty8Twelve with her sister. The clothes are based off of the bohemian styles but for designer prices. Now being boho is chic and trendy and expensive. To buy something that looks vintage can cost you hundreds of dollars when it looks like it’s 10 years old.
Being boho today doesn’t mean you are a gypsy or a traveler or express your creativity. It means you like the look. The groups of people who is truly boho are small. We have turned a group of free spirited people into a trend and are renaming it, boho-chic. Being a boho but still caring about how you look. The names of the trends keeps changing and what is boho today won’t be boho tomorrow.
Photos from Google