Just like a painting, or a song, fashion also plays a main role in the fusion of different cultures and influences. Eastern and Western cultures engage in an important part in the Fashion trends of today. These two are fused in the fashion industry in many ways, the British borrowing from the Russians, India from the French, Japan and Germany, and the list continues.
Since 1890, fashion expresses tremendous influences from the Eastern culture in the western dress resulting from the artists and designers renowned interest in Art Nouveau. The 1905 war between Japan and Russia and the Chinese revolution in 1911 were fundamental for their inspiration at the moment, as well as today. Some of the most common characteristics are V-necklines, straight seams, hourglass silhouettes, full sleeves toward the end, sleeves sewn to bodice and contrasting wide waistband, to name some.
In any store or designer line, you can find eastern inspired clothing like embroidered tunics, beaded necklines on dresses and shirts, jeweled handbags in Sari fabrics, reminiscing different characteristics from the East. Pashminas, for example, are now an every day basic item for most women to wear either on a date to the movies or to a fancy formal gala.
Another essential item in women’s wardrobe today is the Kurta top, as simple as it can be it stands from the rest because of its beaded detail. The Nehru jacket, born in the 1940’s and remarketed in the 1960’s thanks to The Beatles, is still an acclaimed collar style in shirts, coats and jackets.
The element of women wearing pants, men wearing caftans have even translated to comfort while being considered chic forms of relax-at-home fashion. Attire wrapped around the body like kimonos and robes, rich color fabrics, even pagoda sleeves are eastern trends incorporated in western fashion.
Some of the most noted designers bidding on exotic eastern style in their creations are: Max Mara, exploring sexy necklines and strong fabrics, Cacharel with sweet flower prints, and Lacroix risking it with Japanese type sleeves. Armani, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianfranco Ferré and Versace are only some of the top names reaching out to their masculine lines by including eastern elements to their lines, like pants made with kimono fabrics, mao necklines, printed belts and even oriental type sandals with the use of silk and heavy silk, these fabrics are the foundation for the exotic oriental look designers are striving for.
The Boho Chic look, on the other hand, can be represented as a western influence on eastern culture; it embraces a unique style where you can appreciate the fusion of both worlds with the modern and contemporary side of the western fashion and just a hint of eastern flair in the jewels and beading.
Season to season, we see fashion face some radical changes, but the east and west mixture is inescapable, resulting always in a beautiful, artistic and also commercial masterpiece representing a multicultural society of designers and consumers.