Roberto Cavalli, an Italian fashion designer once said, “I’m a fashion designer, not a sociologist. Fashion is about dreams, not about reality.” Other famous designers believe that the Gypsy fashion and lifestyle is a “perfect fantasy.” It exudes a sense of richness and freedom which is detached from one’s social background because it expresses more of the “Self” and not one’s position in society. Today, most people would like to believe that society is slowly paving a way towards equality; that the line that separates different social classes, cultures, religions, sexuality, ethnicity, is slowly fading away or is being diminished by a more open-minded generation.
Gypsies were originally known as Romani or Roma who came from India and travelled to different parts of Europe and America sometime between the 6th and 11th century. They were a nomadic people who have been described as unique and did not identify themselves with any territory, nor claim any rights to the national sovereignty of the countries they reside in. Rather, the Romani people are strongly bound with the ideal of freedom which includes having no ties to a particular homeland. They are a people who have shared backgrounds but are scattered all over the world. An estimated 12 million Romani gypsies are living worldwide, most of them in Europe, making them the largest ethnic minority group in the continent.
Integrating Gypsy Fashion
Today, Gypsy culture has been widely integrated into fashion & lifestyle. Designers love to play with the style because Gypsy fashion ultimately gives a sense of freedom to both designer & user. Perhaps, this is because it’s so fun, easy, & carefree which is probably a stark contrast from their everyday lives at work in a bustling city where everything seems to cruise by too fast in dull monochrome colours. Gypsy clothing stores like The Freedom State have become extremely popular in recent years, especially within coastal communities who seem to identify more strongly with gypsy fashion culture than those living in cities.
In the past, a lot of people’s goals were to find a good stable job and thought that that was the purpose of life. Nowadays, people are more idealistic. They want to travel more, they want to explore, immerse themselves into the culture of other countries, and just get lost. With gypsy fashion, comes also a lifestyle of travel, of spontaneity, of freedom. Today, happiness is not having to care about tomorrow because “You Only Live Once.” People, of course, need to work to earn a living, but they also work to really live. Live, as in going to different places, discovering new things, meeting new people, tasting delicacies from other countries, doing what you love and want to do. Some people make travel as their inspiration, or whatever their passion is, to work hard and to possibly go for an early retirement so they can still enjoy their life without the burdens and responsibilities of having to work without satisfaction or fulfilment.
How to Wear Gypsy Clothing
Gypsy fashion is very flexible and versatile. They don’t need to conform to stereotypes all the time. There’s no social or political issue, they just wear what they want to wear. Gypsy fashion is usually inspired by travel and nature because Gypsies are icons of freedom. A lot of travel bloggers today are also good dressers and they mostly take inspiration from the places they visit. Gypsies travel the world and take as much from it into their lives. Nomadic escapist culture or ideals has been becoming a trend today because people like to see something out of the ordinary. They no longer want to stay in one place. Wealth and luxury is not always the dream, some people prefer a life of travel and adventure because somehow it makes them even richer.
Perhaps, that’s the reason why the Romanis or Gypsies of old preferred absolute freedom over the privileges of a homeland. Live a life, unbound and free from distraction of a material world. The gypsy look is a great style and can be worked into any wardrobe, take a look at our mix & match wardrobe post for tips on how to make it fit!