Origins of Bohemian Culture and Style

The bohemian culture and style is fascinating, which is why I want to share with you how it all began.

A bohemian was defined as someone who had artistic/unconventional pursuits and lived an unconventional lifestyle. The bohemian culture began after the French Revolution. The effects of the French Revolution caused people to be impoverished, so they adopted a pastoral and gypsy lifestyle. From the emergence of Romanticism, artists started cultivating their own unique aesthetic. Many people referred to these artists as Gypsies who lived in a region of the Czech Republic.

By the 19th century, the aesthetic movement and bohemian style peaked. People began to follow their own rules and wore medieval style clothing. The woman in the picture named Fanny Cornforth was depicted as “bohemian” by researchers.

Bohemian portrait

Painting of Fanny Cornforth by: Danta Rossetti

P.S. -Fanny’s necklace looks totally chic!

In the 20th century, the first prominent woman to adopt bohemian style clothing was the author Virginia Wolfe. She rebelled against Victorian norms by wearing loose clothing. Soon after, the flapper style of the roaring 20’s gained momentum and the bohemian style quietly dispersed.

virginia woolfe-bohemian

In the late 60’s and 70’s, the bohemian culture arose. At this time, women promoted self-independence and power. This was when birth control the use of the cannabis plant: marijuana was on the rise. People wanted to live their lives how they wanted and their attitudes during that era portrayed that. They were the free-thinkers—people that rejected social norms. The bohemian style was a tiny glimpse of the free-spirited attitude at that time.

The iconic Janis Joplin-an American rock star oozed boho-chic. She was the poster child of bohemian fashion style; she wore loose beaded necklaces, bangles, flared out pants, and colorful shawls. She rocked it (literally).

Janis Joplin-boho

These are just a few influential artists that embraced the bohemian culture and style. So go ahead, feel the vibes, let your spirit run wild. There’s nothing wrong with being a modern bohemian.