The last editorial of Vogue Japan “When Life Was Exotic” for the april issue triggered this article by showing the influences of the Asian aesthetics, beautifully and modern in the fashion industry. The simplicity of turning on an occidental piece into a traditional geisha’s kimono shows how Asia has inspired fashion houses and creatives. In this case, Alexander McQueen by Sara Burton has been chosen to become part of the editorial as an Asian piece to create a nostalgic and traditional feeling. This is not the first time the fashion house has been involved into the geishas’ culture since Lee McQueen created tons of pieces and collections influenced and inspired by the east culture.
Alexander McQueen has created a particular style with his wonderful and complex creations, full of concepts and couture details. One of the most popular dresses is the one on the cover of Homogenic (1997) album by Björk, which exposes literally the influences of the asian culture, directly related to the geishas’ world. Also, Lee McQueen created shoes Inspired by the Asian wave in 2008 for the spring summer collection impacting the audience with an extraordinary architecture inspired by geishas’ sandals, becoming one of the most important fashion house working pieces that bring up the Asian culture as a powerful and workable concept.
Chanel has been part of the movement too; the last campaign for the spring summer 2013 is totally influenced by Asia and inspired by Washitsu aesthetic, desinging a japanese set with a tatamis floor and minimalistic decoration, recovering the traditions of Japan to envolve the consumers into a dramatic and fashion ad. All of the new images reflecting the wave feed from the iconic topics and visual beauties bringing back the old roots of the Asian cultures.
Prada (SS RTW 2013) and Givenchy (Resort 2013) have used the Asian theme for their collections to shine, focusing on the traditional flowers decoration, Ikebana. Which has also been part of editorials and campaigns. From the flowers to the traditional suits, the fashion houses has experimented the geisha dream. Maison Martin Margiela took the space to create a high fashion ninja boot (“Tavi Boot”), becoming the most iconic footwear of the last seasons to the streets.
The influences not only affects desing, it also affects all around the industry, a good example is how the Asian models have took place in the industry as a piece of native beauty, a living piece of art. Fei Fei is one of the popular models that have been portrayed by Steven Meisel to be a muse and create a iconic editorial for Vogue Italia, mixing the occidental and asian cultures forming a marvelous and futuristic image of Asia.
It’s clear that Asia is one of the world’s leader since this culture is one of the oldest, it’s been part of all human generations. Impressive and epic the Asian codes have been part of our lives from “made in China” to the most beautiful movies and pieces of art. Asia is there to be worked and to create, Asia as a culture and an always reborn concept.