Amalgamation of Global Cultures in Fashion

The global itineraries not only reveal the beauty around the world, but also give a strong presence of mixed cultures and adaptation of art from various countries. This incorporation and merger of traditions is seen chiefly in the fashion that dominates a particular country. Fortunately, with the globalisation, fashion has become a wider term, in the sense that designers are much more open to adopting what they find inspiring in any given culture. Thus, it is no wonder to find patterns in America or Europe that have their roots in Asia or Africa! The fashion evolution has its roots in each and every culture that the world has seen and the difference in cultures, ideas, values, lifestyle et al impart a unique character to the designs.

Indeed the designers do not need to trot the globe to get inspiration, as the world is at the fingertips with so many smart gizmos around. A tour to the world and finding designs that are allied to a particular ethnicity are much simpler to realise. The recent spring 2014 ramps were full of designs created with the help of striking embellishments, elegant embroidery, Aztec patterns, vivid draping and graphic prints that dance to the tunes of ethnic and culturally diversified beat.

The world knows that India is a country that is dominated by cotton and chintz. However, in countries of European Union, where rich fabrics were mostly preferred by the designers, trends have changed and cotton along with natural fabrics like Khadi are finding a good place in fashion world. In fact, block prints on cotton are a common sight even in countries like Egypt and Greece. China is a country of silk and today designers use blends of silk to come up with exclusive fabrics that have great fall and rich look. It is not an unusual sight to see the block prints on silk, which is actually a blend of India and China. The block printing can be seen in clothes of Southeast Asian countries and Japan.

The inspiration that the fashion designers are taking from African is also palpable. The designing houses have adapted innumerable influences from Africa. The colour vibrancy from Africa can be seen across the major design houses and high street stores. The distinguished fabrics such as Dutch wax prints and Ankara, Kanga – a cotton fabric originating in East Africa as well as the Ghanaian Kente cloth – delicately crafted interwoven fabric can be spotted in fashion runways.

Apart from fabrics and prints, the international celebrities and known faces are also not shy in experimenting with their dressing style. The mass media has ensured a rise in the power and exposure of celebrities. India’s traditional attire saree has impressed celebrities from America and Europe, whereas ball gowns, which trace their roots to Europe, can be seen in attire of celebrities from Asia, Africa and other parts of the world as well. Also, Pakistan’s zari work has also found a respected place in the world. The embroidery from Pakistan can be seen in clothes and dresses designed by some renowned designers. Both Chinese and Indian textiles use a large amount of embroidery, which is borrowed from Pakistan. The tartan which is Scotland’s traditional design that also holds cultural significance, has become a regular part of textile and garment designs all over the world from New York to Milan, London to Paris.

To add to the originality, designers do not think twice to study and accept the street style of countries like Japan, Africa and America. The local style of cultures is of equivalent significance to fine arts and the celeb culture. These three cultures i.e. the fine arts, celeb culture and street style, influence the development of the fashion and trends. The colours, designs and patterns that the local markets of various countries display says the story of the country’s culture. Japanese Harajuko girls or the style of youngsters in America’s sub-urban areas, all are distinctive and when designers combine their creativity, experience and class to these styles, they craft something that is different and yet rooted to its origin. So when denim fabric is used to create saree or silk blends are used to create jumpsuits and rompers, the subtle hints of cultural influence can be seen.

Also with the cultures becoming one, the fashion processes have also been greatly influenced. The developed markets like Europe lay emphasis on standardization of products, following which, some developing countries followed the suit. The manufacturers have to ensure standardization of yarn and cloth measurement.

The fashion has finally come at peace with the possibility of borrowing something from another culture to give it a distinct meaning, without treading on the root of the original culture. Those who are a part of fashion industry know that in order to survive the competition it is imperative to energise the garments with freshness of cultures and traditional creativity that knows no boundary. It is significant to recognise and foresee social and cultural movements, in order to explore the newer designs and novel markets.