The Etno Concept | Etno'Fashion
Ethnic Influence in Fashion
Historically, luxury has been associated with foreign origins. It is therefore impossible to date the starting point of ethnic style in Western consumption modes; in ancient times, novel and sumptuous goods arrived through trade routes from Persia, Egypt, and Central Asia, and later from India, China, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, and elsewhere. Designs and production methods of these imports were imitated, and whole industries-such as Italian and French silk production were founded to cater for what had initially been a demand for exoticism. Materials such as silk and cashmere are now fully naturalized in Western fashion, but from time to time their foreign origins are rearticulated in the context of ethnic fashion, for example in the recent trend for luxe povera.
During the 1990s and the first years of the new millennium, ethnic style has been one of the strongest influences in fashion. Designers, such as Dior, Christian Lacroix, Dries van Noten, John Galliano, Kenzo, Vivienne Tam, Yeohlee and many others, have taken their inspiration from a variety of Asian, African, Arctic, Native American and several other dress forms and aesthetic styles and created colorful, syncretic styles evocative of the past or faraway lands. The fantasy element is strong in ethnic fashion; even when based on detailed research, designs are typically given a twist so they appear contemporary. Nowadays ethnic style in fashion is an important and one of the hottest trend. As fashion continues adjusting to the multicultural condition, both within each Western nation and at the transnational level, ethnic style provides a particularly rich and diverse field of study- one that is likely to produce major future developments in fashion theory.