June is the month of resort shows, migrations played out in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Garments perfect for the summer, which won’t deliver till late November, at the earliest. Wild games. What a safari. Not that the resort collections aren’t fantastic. There’s nothing like a wide-eyed Gisele to make one marvel at the beauty of the world.
Looks from Resort 2013 , Altuzarra to Derek Lam to Michael Kors, Alberta Ferretti to Emilio Pucci to Giambattista Valli, ones dubbed ‘safari’ by fashion journalists, may be safari inspired, and are superbly stylish. Very smart. Yes. Safari. Not really.
On Safari, in East Africa, one needs to wear pragmatic cotton items in dark brown colors, to absorb the red dust, which clings to everything. In Masai Mara Reserve, after removing ones sweaty khaki uniform at the end of a long, dry, hot day spent driving around in a beat up van, seeing elephants and lions and hyenas and oligarchs, one can wet the tip of their finger and run it across their arm, the dust vanishing from the traced line like a mark left on a misted window. Washing camouflage pants and a long sleeve button down oxford shirt in a basin of soapy water takes an hour, each rinse a little less ochre than the last.
Safari isn’t a trend. A color palette does not create the narrative of lifestyle. The looks on display may evoke the fantasyimage-6240078-10731106 of exotic adventure and identity, but doesn’t all fashion, ideally? Safari may be called a trend, but so was shooting rhinoceros and mounting their heads over the fireplace. And we know how well that fad went.
Safari is a synonymous with a certain sort of unstructured dress coupled with an adventurous
spirit. Tunics and tailored trousers that look as good wrinkled as pressed. Loose shorts and boxy jackets with pockets for cameras and canteens. Lauren Hutton and Arizona Muse. Marisa Berenson and Dree Hemingway. Veruschka and Vodianova. Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman as the documentarians.
Perhaps safari is one of the
style sensibilities  of the truly chic because it is redolent of the ability to navigate the familiar and the new with equal finesse. Endangered species with the swagger to always stay cool. Exploring wherevers and checking out the wildlife with strengthconfidence and ease.

-Penelope Bloom

August 2012