Pret-a-Reporter

Ulla Johnson Toughens Up Signature Bohemian Vibe

Greg Kessler
Models at the Ulla Johnson spring 2017 presentation.

The designer, whose boho-chic creations have been seen on Jennifer Lawrence and Margot Robbie, played with soft and structured details for spring 2017.

Amid the streetwear scene that reign supreme as of late, you can always count on New York-based designer Ulla Johnson to keep it boho. 

Since her label's inception in 2000, Johnson has maintained her brand's bohemian vibes with free-flowing dresses and tops that feature custom prints and intricate embroideries. And she continued to do some of that in her latest collection, which was showcased Thursday evening at New York Fashion Week.

But spring 2017 had a noticeably tougher vibe. One model wore wide-legged khaki pants with a long-sleeve crochet top with colorful embroidery, while another sported a blush pink leather moto jacket, embroidered in back. Still, the moto jacket felt true to the brand's DNA when paired with a white buttoned-up collar shirt and lace tulle skirt.


BOHO-CHIC: Models at the Ulla Johnson spring 2017 show. (Photos: Greg Kessler)

Johnson took inspiration from this idea of the American prairie. She explains, "What I was partially enamored by, with the gaucho style, was they often have very structured leather pieces, which we've introduced this season as well, but then underneath that there would be an unexpected handmade crochet or fringe — so that play between something very soft and something structured."

During the show, Johnson also introduced a structured bag, crafted by traditional saddle makers, that featured exaggerated tassels and macrame straps.

Johnson counts Jennifer Lawrence, Margot Robbie and Alexa Chung as fans, which she says is flattering, but seeing everyday women in her designs makes her just as excited.

"I think we live in a celebrity-fixated culture, and I understand, these are beautiful women and we all want to emulate them," says the designer. "It's flattering. They have a lot of choices for what to wear, so it's lovely to know they've chosen my things."

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