The East is growing at a rapid rate of consumption with China leading the way. China is developing from an export orientated economy into a consumption driven economy, mainly due to urbanisation and with that comes a new surge of young money. The new clientele consists of young fashionistas who have an interest in the heritage luxury brands of the West, they are cash rich and now due to relaxed legalisation of tax laws and increased travel they are visiting the West to experience the fashion and culture.
Eastern fashion is based heavily around religious beliefs, cultural obligations and tradition it stretches back generations in representing their culture. Western designers are using the culturally well known Eastern motifs and redefining in fresh, modern way in new designs to embrace the growing Eastern clientele. There has been an explosion in colour of fuchsias, oranges and yellows brightening up the catwalks into an Eastern sun set. Lighter, luxurious materials are being used such as silk and sheer linens, they work best in layering of fabrics creating a gliding effect in movement.
Eastern fashion has had an influence over Western designs for many years Paul Poiret in 1910 was the first to bring Eastern fashion to a Western audience with turbans, Indian style trousers and his famous lampshade tunics.Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2012 collection had a polished touch and expensive character behind the clothes, garments included fur collared fitted jackets, dazzling jewels and ornate embroidery of detailed dresses and trouser suits. The collection had Eastern influences which could be seen by the styling choices with the aura of the collection being one of refined, polished wealth.
Mary Katrantzou fall 2012 collection embraced the Eastern trend of colour, her beautifully crafted print dresses were in a range of bright, acidic colours. You can feel an Eastern influence by the vivid use of colouring and the hand printed design treatment of the dresses.Givenchy Spring 2012 Couture collection saw the most recognisable characteristic of an Eastern influence by use of nose rings and drop earrings. Givenchy nose rings consisted of silver embellishment reaching to the wearer’s lips, coupled with gigantic embellished drop earrings.
The Far East influence cannot just be seen by the style of the designers collections showcased but also in the budding front row presence at many shows, especially at Paris for the Chanel and Dior show where famous Chinese actress Lin Peng was an important guest.Designers are not just influenced by the East they are setting up stores there as they recognise where their clientele is based and want to cater towards them. Maison Martin Margiela and Alexander McQueen opened stores in Beijing last year, whilst Gucci, Burberry and Hermes opening up shop since 2009. As well as more designers using eastern models in fashion advertisements to attract growing market.
Watch out for explosion of colours, glistening embellishment, sculptured layering and ethereal aesthetics as fashion turns East wards.