The fashion industry is all about making bold, edgy, and trendy fashion statements. The term fashion includes being different from the crowd or making a statement through clothes and accessories that set you apart. When fashion comes into the picture, culture is an integral part of it.
Fashion and culture go hand in hand. Our clothes are a way to express our personality, where we come from, who we are, what we do, etc. Culture influences our lifestyle in major ways, especially by way of modernization, art and technological innovation. Eastern and Western cultures and lifestyles originated and developed over thousands of years, as the age-old saying goes – “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” As such, the clothing styles and fashions have been in flux. A major part of both cultures’ self-expression involves fashion, from special occasions to everyday attire.
Let’s take a look at how the different cultures and fashions have evolved eastern and western styles leading to varying sartorial tastes and unique methods of design and creation.
If we talk about the East, we see customary clothes like the Japanese Kimono and the Indian Saree belonging to a specific culture. Men and women have been wearing these traditional pieces for centuries, with minor style variations taking place over time. These outfits are still very appropriate for cultural occasions and festivals, and they continue to signify the acceptance of their culture. Now we see kimonos being worn by women, and even men from the West; denoting it as comfort wear, they are styled as part of workwear and everyday attire.
Indian women are also styling the Indian saree with jackets, corsets, etc. marking it as a formal option for their everyday work attire and for various other events. Pre-stitched and pre-draped sarees are all the rage right now, accepted and adorned by women all over the world. Kurti’s worn with jeans are all the rage with the younger generation.
The Eastern style has not lost its customary clothing sensibilities, they have just evolved to suit the lifestyles of people in the modern age. We see this with many high-fashion brands and designers that use traditional motifs and silhouettes in new age ensembles. Big brands like Louis Vuitton, Marchesa, and Issey Miyake have celebrated the kimono on the runway, and designers like Sabyasachi and Masaba are adding a touch of modernity to the classical Indian sari and lehenga.
As for Western fashion and style, there have been major changes in their dressing over time. Indeed there was a certain signature touch to it in earlier times but now it’s about comfortable, on-the-go pieces and wearable items. Take corsets, for instance, corsets defined the western era for decades. Now corsets and bustiers have largely fallen out of fashion and however, the few that are sold just imitate the style and are modified for wearability. The same goes for three-piece formal clothing, this kind of formal wear option was mostly visible during official events and occasions; today men’s formals have taken over the entire western world in the form of casual wear suits, workwear suits, athleisure suits, evening wear pantsuits and more. Meanwhile, the three-piece have largely fallen out of favor and are reserved for extremely formal occasions.
Today, Western clothing displays a casual kind of style mainly because it is a more secular society. The West is the trendsetter of the current fashion world. Their clothing includes denim wear, tees, skirts, pants, shorts and more. Here, religion doesn’t define the dress code. The main definition of western-style would be anything comfortable and trendy, whatever attracts and flatters the body is worn usually. European clothing tends to follow the same trend. This style is heavily influenced by liberal thought, with huge experimental and avant-garde fashions emerging in the area.
We can see it’s an evolution with the iconic wrap dress by DVF, distressed denim and athleisure.
On the other hand, the style in the East changes on a rapid scale, although across the board it portrays tradition and culture. Religious beliefs, cultural obligations, and traditions define the dress code in the East. Customary dressing manners are a method to preserve traditional beliefs and values, which are passed onto future generations.
Although in fashion and culture – the eastern and western styles have now started to adopt a new, much more modernized view of clothing – a blend of all cultures brought together. This has led to an entirely new category of clothing, unique to our times – fusion wear.
However, not all have taken to the introduction of new styles and many have spoken against the increasing intertwining of cultures. Fusion wear and western wear has definitely sparked controversy. In fact, a village in Andhra even banned women from wearing nighties outside their houses between the hours of 6 am to 7 pm, going as far as to impose a fine of INR 2,000 for any violation!
Many other states in India have also attempted to and actually banned women from wearing jeans and t-shirts at colleges. With various similar instances, it is clear that new styles of clothing have been met with mixed responses.
The fashion sensibilities of both societies are shifting now. The West is beginning to appreciate the elaborate fabrics and rich colors of the East, while the East is gradually beginning to express themselves with clothing and trendy accessories, also allowing individualism to set foot into age-old traditions. An iconic example of this would be Rihanna’s MET Gala 2015 look by Guo Pei. The beautiful and intricate yellow gown was a reflection of China’s past, expressed in a modern symphony.
Meanwhile, modern (shall we say millennial?) Indian brands like ‘NorBlack NorWhite’ are inventing new textiles suited to modern tastes and using them in traditional pieces. Their ‘Shimma Saree’ paired with a mesh blouse and sports bra is a completely new take on the traditional ensemble.
Both these societies today are starting to merge their fashion industry and clothing traditions to create a new, contemporary and more globally accepted range. The most up-to-date fashionistas today will be those who would be willing to embrace the cultural blending of the East and the West, making the new global style their very own!
How are Indian designers taking eastern culture to the western platform?
Fashion holds the strength to change the world, it has the power to shape our lives.
We all are aware that designs play an essential role in celebrating own fashion culture in the foreign territory and now with globalisation exchange of fashion culture is trending. The fashion designers carry the aesthetics and add modernity to their designs bringing the element of monopoly and newness in the overseas market which makes the fashion businesses sail through easily.
Over the years we have seen Eastern and Western fashion cultures amalgamating for setting some major latest fashion trends. These two fashion cultures are amalgamated in the fashion industry in various ways, the British borrowing from the Russians, India from the French, Japan and Germany, and the list continues.
All of the fashion admirers have witnessed last year in Milan Fashion week the beautiful orchestral design prints which represented Indian culture on celebrated International fashion designers collection, which was immensely influenced by Indian fashion culture. The Indian-originated fashion designers who created their own spot in the western fashion world– Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja have been phenomenal in reshaping the identity of swimwear in the nation. After 10 years of gracing the fashion industry, the Shivan & Naresh brand has grown from being India’s foremost resort wear label to taking Indian wedding attire’s to the next level. They successfully gave a new route to establishing a bold new identity of the Indian fashion. They wanted the country to have its own global luxury brand, and with this reason, they took on a global category, swimwear. The duo fashion designer came up with a new silhouette of the bikini sari, with addition to a new category of swimwear in the fashion world. They clearly defined as what swimwear from India can do to global fashion. The global icon Kim Kardashian West was spotted wearing it for Vogue, which further helped the Eastern fashion to be on the global map. Apart from this, the eastern fashion has also bought the bandhgala to global fashion.
IKF Desk (Conclusion)
Here’s a tip for you by I Knock Fashion, if you’re looking for an eastern piece of clothing like embroidered tunics, beaded neckline dresses and shirts, jewelled handbags with Sari fabrics, you can easily find it any store or designer line. Women out there here’s a wardrobe tip for you the Kurta top, as simple as it can be it stands out from the rest because of its beaded detail you can also go for A Nehru jacket, born in the 1940s and remarketed in the 1960s, it is an acclaimed fashion piece and never runs out of fashion.
If you are in search of designers and fashion who bids on exotic eastern style in their creations lookout for Max Mara, Armani, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianfranco Ferr and Versace, they offer pants made with kimono fabrics, mao necklines, printed belts and even oriental type footwear with the use of heavy silk.
The fabrics offered by Indian are the foundation of the exotic oriental look designers create.
The Boho chic look represents the western influence on eastern culture so aptly, it offers a unique style where you can celebrate the amalgamation of both the fashion worlds with the contemporary side of the western fashion and just a hint of eastern flair in the jewels and beading.
Decade to decade, year to year, and season to season, we have witnessed fashion industry face some radical changes, but the eastern and western fusion is still inescapable, it somehow always manages to awe the audience with its beauty, art and also market. It successfully represents a masterpiece of the multicultural society of designers and consumers. Do you want to know specification about how western culture is ruling the Easter fashion culture?
If yes, do let us know in the comment section!