Thursday, 28 March 2013

Are traditions fashionable?

All countries have their own traditions. In Southern Spain for example the women wear long dresses with ruffles during the celebration of Seville's April fair. This tradition goes back to the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th when what we know now as a leisure fair used to be a event for selling animals. Women used to go with their husbands wearing a robe with ruffles which is the outfit they wore to do the chores at home.
Ralph Lauren Spring-Summer collection 2013 was inspired by Seville and Spain and Dior by Galliano's hand was also inspired by this country on more than one occasion to give birth to Haute Couture collections.

In East London (UK) there's a group of men and women that are know as Pearly Kings and Queens. They originated from the city's street traders known as costermongers and the 'kings' and 'queens' were the leaders of each group. In the 18th century they began to sew pearls onto their old jackets and trousers to mimic their wealthy neighbours from West London where the fashion of wearing pearls was common. A few random pearls then developed into complex designs and symbols covering the whole of jacket and trousers or skirt.
Olivier Rousteing’s first collection as designer of Balmain last season had less tattered-come-glitzy looks than its previous designer injected into the brand making it a must-have for those who coveted a sexy, don’t-give-a-fuck, wild child image. We could see some resemblance to the Pearly Kings and Queens in these designs although Rousteing wasn't directly inspired by them.

India and saris also inspired designers such us Gaultier and Lagerfeld for the house of Chanel in his Pre-Fall 2012 collection pulling off a spectacularly different approach to French chic with a creative twist on Indian couture. Traditional Indian pieces of jewellery added to the look, almost stealing the show from the clothes with its bling. The collection featured intricate embroideries, raw silk and other extravagant materials characterised by an exquisite combination of delicate Indian handcraft and Parisian fashion. An array of colours blended perfectly, from bright hues to ivory tones, deep pigments of red and shades of gold and silver.

So as you can see, designers are inspired by traditions to design their collections. This summer we could wear Japanese inspired dresses, shirts and even shoes. If you live in Spain and your city has a fair you can easily make a statement wearing a Spanish inspire look instead of the typical "sevillana" dress. Step out of the box and you'll be the centre of attention.

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