Any doubts about the staying power of the tropicana aesthetic fell by the wayside after this year’s Milan Fashion Week: the event was an open love letter to a motif that has seen a quiet, sturdy rise in the fashion industry over the past few years.
Gucci spoiled us with decadent floral brocades while Max Mara dressed its ladies in clean, palm-frond printed athleisure. Dolce & Gabbana even flanked its runway with palms, creating a veritable rainforest from which its models emerged in dark florals and brazen prints. It could have felt passé. Instead, it felt evolved.
So why such continued fascination? Why hasn’t the tropicana trend wilted from exhaustion like others over the past few years (looking at you, hipster triangles and Kinfolk-vibe deer head-prints)?
It’s an enticing question, and we’ve got at least one theory.
The trend was born in the '30s, in many ways another product of colonialism and its insatiable thirst for “exotica.” The Western world and its various empires sought creative inspiration from the jungle, with success. But it was always through the rose-colored (and very problematic) glasses of Rudyard Kipling and the like. Tropicana was and is, at its core, a fetishized aesthetic; a nostalgic romanticism for a place we’ve never been.
Enter the late '00s: palm prints, though never fully absent, relives an infectious rise in popularity through the Y and Z generations and the rise of Southern California Gothic crooners ('sup, Lana Del Rey) makes it all very Urban Outfitters-appropriate. Had we ever seen so many palm tree and pineapple print cell phone cases?
Just look into the crowd of every millennial Coachella come and gone, and ye shall find no lies: tropicana has played its part in the escapist backdrop that today’s teens are seeking. They’ve never known a world with unturned pages; they’ve never not known an over-saturation of internet and social-media.
No wonder they’re nostalgic for, well, something to be nostalgic for.
Here are 15 tropicana printed pieces to take you back to... somewhere:
Cover image: Whowhatwhere.com.uk
Original article and pictures take http://wheretoget.it/magazine/understanding-the-appeal-of-tropicana?utm_content=buffereee43&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer#slide13 site