Asian motives in the High Fashion

Most people love fashion. Especially woman, we watch New collections and read fashion magazines.
Lately, it become a very popular to use styles or fragments  from different cultures


Asian trend is being very popular. A lot of designers use it because of interest in Oriental-ism and exotic things. Should they do it or not? Well, on one side the cultural admonition is good. We can learn a lot from different cultures and enjoy the beauty of them. On the other, it can easy become racist or not appropriate. One example is Christian Dior’s “Shanghai Dreamers” ad campaign, which was clearly racist . there is difference in using some cultural elements and using some horrible event or situation where people have a lot of emotional attachments.dior-shanghai-ads-racistThis ad show  love-for-master colonialist tendencies. It also suggest some superiority and looking at people as a bunch, not individualized.

In the same time there is a rising number of Asian-American designers who try to find their place in the world of high fashion in the USA. Those designer are often being accused in going away from their roots and being too western in their choices of designs and models. In the blog 8Asians there is an article about Asian designers in the US and here what AKRYPTI (the author of the blog) writes about this problem: ”

To transcend that will take activism. APA designers need to challenge themselves and their creativity beyond homages to their cultural heritage and ethnic roots. They cannot regurgitate Asian tropes. That said, they also cannot turn their backs on identity politics, which many APA designers do out of fear of being typecast (a valid fear, by the way, because oftentimes that is exactly what happens).

APA designers need to take a bold stand on their political identities and express that through their art and design. I haven’t seen many APA designers reconciling politics and art. Rather, it’s been either a straightforward “East meets West, traditional plus modern” deal or the other extreme, where they sidestep their heritage and Asian American identity altogether to concentrate entirely on art.”

I decided to look up Vera Wang, since she is the most famous Asian-American designer. She was born in the US, but her family is from China. She first was figure skater, than a designer. It is an interesting fact, that many people attribute comparably lower number of Asian designers to the stereotypical world of professions. The Asians have to be doctors or other prestigious and money-making professions.So there is not a big number of Asian designers and they often have a harder time to get to the top, than other groups. Nevertheless,  Vera Wang was able to put her name on the same level with other designers in the US.Her dresses were celebrities on the red carpet. I couldn’t find if she uses Asian motives often in her collections, but on the website she uses Asian Models. So she seems to be able to find her place and her own identity.  I think contrary  to the opinion of the writer of 8Asian blog, Vera Wang is an American designer and being  known more as American, then Asian or Chinese. Is it good? Is it Bad?Should she be more Chinese Designer or American? I think, that it the right for personal opinion….. vera-wang-ad-campaign-spring-summer-2013-04


One thought on “Asian motives in the High Fashion

  1. Good consideration of the representation of colonialism in the Dior ads. It also reinforces the idea of people as props. I’d be interested in hearing a bit more of your thoughts related to the blog post from 8Asians. Perhaps providing some images of ways that designers incorporate but move beyond Asian tropes would also be helpful.

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