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Tahiti Tropical

Posted by on 6/5/2012 to Fashion
It comes as no surprise that one of this summer's biggest trends is the nature-inspired print. Exotic floral and palm prints have graced the runways this season in a variety of forms: peplum and bra tops, pants, form-fitting dresses, and high-waisted skirts.  Although often overlooked, fruit and vegetable patterns have also made their way into the Spring/ Summer 2012 collections of countless designers, including Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Missoni, and Kenzo.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2012
Dolce & Gabbana 2012

Kenzo Paris 2012
Kenzo, Paris 2012 

Dolce & Gabanna 2012
Dolce & Gabbana 2012

The resurgence of nature-inspired prints as a major trend this season suggests a humble return to the earth and celebration of nature and its bounty.  The naturalistic theme and combination of warm yellows, oranges, and greens in these patterns are reminiscent of the portrait and landscape paintings of the famous French post-impressionist artist, Paul Gauguin.

Gauguin (1848-1903) is best known for his painted scenes of Tahiti, characterized by a stark contrast of bold colors and depiction of soft, rounded human figures.

Paul Gauguin Femmes Tahiti
Femmes de Tahiti (Sur la plage) [(Tahitian Women (On the Beach)]
1891 (150 Kb); Oil on canvas, 69 x 91 cm (27 1/8 x 35 7/8 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris 

Paul Gauguin Nave, Nave Moe
Nave, Nave Moe (Miraculous Source) 
1894; Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

For the majority of his early life, Gauguin worked as an artist in Paris, where he lived a bohemian lifestyle typical of artists during the late 19th century. However, Gauguin quickly grew dissatisfied with the Parisian bourgeois society and in 1891, left Paris and Western civilization as whole for the remote island of Tahiti.  For Gauguin, Tahiti was a land of beautiful and strong people, untainted by the superficiality of Western culture and instead, grounded in a love and respect for the earth and natural environment that surrounded them.