Before ‘Tribal Chic’ became a buzzword, there was fashion and interior designer Matthew Williamson’s 2006 runway show that took the world by storm! After he paved the way, tribal prints inspired by the Mexica or Aztecs of the 11th century started to take on a modern identity which transformed into a global trend by 2015.
From trendy to timeless
Above: On the left, original tribal motifs of indigenous origins. On the right, modern interpretations of tribal motifs are adapted into digital and graphic art.
Below: Aztec inspired chevron and geometric prints seen on home decor items.
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It may be tempting to dismiss these designs as compositions of basic shapes and lines but today tribal art is celebrated for its indigenous origins and the meaning it held for its native creators. Aztec is by far the most prevalent style of tribal art in home decor and fashion. The uncomplicated use of geometric circles, triangles and dots lends this art form an ease and versatility which has been leveraged by many to create elevated interpretations. Because of these qualities, what started out as a trend has proven to be a mainstay over the years in both fashion and interior design.
A call back to the 2010s
Its influence may have ebbed and flowed over the years, but colorful and contemporary reproductions of Aztec print can be found in homes all across the world. The art style carries with it a flair of flamboyance and freedom denoting artistic sophistication and appreciation for culture, qualities which translate naturally into any space decorated with such pieces. And while many say that Aztec or tribal ( often used synonymously) peaked during the 2010s shortly after its runway debut by Matthew Williamson’s in 2006, in reality the popularity of Aztec never truly faded away so much so that its mainstream resurgence is inevitable as observed with all other major design trends.
Cabana – A Tribal Take By V Living
The V Living Tribal collection denotes an amalgamation of two worlds, one of the distant past and another of the present. The pieces retain traditional tribal charm through use of black monochromatic print on a white base, punctuated by bright and lively accents of Ochre Yellow and Teal, prevalent in accessories and cushions. Pops of color are also added via pom poms, trims and edges to create striking contrast between neutral and solid hues.
The overwhelming repetition of lines and chevrons is deliberate, meant to result in statement pieces such as a rug or curtain for the living room, whereas bedroom essentials like quilts and pillows feature symmetrical design placements with light tribal chintz in the middle and stylised patterns on the borders.
The highlight of the collection is a kantha style recreation of aztec zig zag chevron lines which expertly combines not only two distinct design principles but also cultural sensibilities, ideal for an urban home. This marriage between the Indian and old Mexican influence has subconsciously inspired the name of our tribal collection, a call back to the nomadic and thrifty heritage of Kantha.
On the other hand, the triangle aztec chintz is the heart of this collection, lending itself beautifully to kitchen essentials like cooking apron, oven mitts and pot holders, a testament to the belief that tribal designs can transcend time, trends and space.