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Eastern Traditions Making Waves in the West

Written by on November 12th, 2009 No Comment

east-meets-westFashion trends in the East have greatly influenced many of the Haute Couture Collections in the West. The 21st Century is an era, where mingling of cultures, diversity and styles are fused together, to create a unique blend of fashion; where tradition meets trend.

Many of the emerging styles in the Western Hemisphere have inherent cultural roots from the Middle East and South Asian region. Here are some fashion trends making waves:

Palazzo pants: Different cultures in assorted regions of the Sub-continent, have known women to wear the Palazzo style pants (wide-legged, cut straight and loosely fitted, reaching just above the ankle) since centuries; these have now become the ‘rage’ in Western fashion, where the straight cut is occasionally adapted to a flared bottom and fitted at the top, closely resembling a skirt. Palazzo pants can be worn with short or long tops; often stylishly embroidered for more formal wear but also available in regular, casual or beachwear.

Pashmina shawls: Woven from the fine hair found in the inner coat of the high altitude Himalayan Mountain goat; the Pashmina – also known as ‘Cashmere’ wool, was used by Kings and Emperors during the Mughal era. Renowned for its soft and luxurious wool, it is one of the most expensive natural fiber with an infinite demand by top designers in the fashion industry.

Mehndi designs: Temporary Tattooing of myriad designs and motif’s with Henna or Mehndi is gaining widespread recognition around the world, for its ability to wash off; instead of the permanent ink skin tattoos.

Kurti’s: A short kurti is a modified version of the traditional long Kurta, worn by men and women in Southern Asia. Kurti’s have been making inroads in the Western culture for several years; tastefully designed with dainty embroidery around the neck opening and sleeve edges; available in soft hand spun cotton, raw silk, slinky chiffon or grainy Georgette fabric.
Kurti’s have attained the status of ‘dress for comfort’ and worn casually with jeans or cargo’s. The embellished ones can be teamed with Palazzo pants, to reflect style.

Glitzy Bangles and ethnic earrings: Richly carved metallic bangles and dainty bejeweled earrings have adorned the wrists and ears of Eastern women on all festivals and celebrations. The overwhelming demand for traditional accessories, has flooded the North American and European markets, attracting a cross section of buyers

Rhinestone slippers: Chic and vibrant, these look dazzling on pretty feet. Ever since the culture in casual footwear invoked a ‘Bohemian’ outlook in the late eighties, by popularizing the flip-flops; the elaborately decorated rhinestone slipper, a typical eastern style footwear is finding its way to expensive shoe stores and shopping malls in the West.

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