Sunday, 30 September 2012

Add a Japanese Touch to Your Look

Exotic places have always inspired fashion designers and spring/summer 2013 collections are no exception. The Japanese influence is a big trend for next season with different interpretations of this magic land, home to the ultimate warrior - the Samurai - and the fascinating world of the Gueisha.

Gareth Pugh and Etro
Gareth Pugh and Etro (photos:

Why is Japan trendy? Is it only due to its exoticism? Japan has the world's third-largest economy and its role in the international community is considerable. The country has also one of the lowest gaps between rich and poor among developed countries, something all nations should aspire to.

Prada and Mugler
Prada and Mugler (photos:

According to Wilkinson and Pickett in The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always do Better, inequality is the root of many of society's problems such as physical and mental health, drug abuse, violence and teenage pregnancies. 

It is not about how much money we make but more importantly of how we see ourselves in comparison to others. As Gilles Lipovetsky points out in The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy you may be perfectly happy with your Mini until you see your neighbour's Ferrari.

Pucci and Lanvin
Emilio Pucci and Lanvin (photos:

In terms of equality, Japan can be considered a highly civilised country and its unique culture, featuring elaborate tea ceremonies, expresses an admirable deep respect towards others. We often forget this is the main purpose of good manners.  

The unique architecture, the otherworldly Kyoto gardens, the precise and soft calligraphy, the traditional hot baths, the fast-forward technology, the creative manga comics, the eye-catching flower arrangements... There are many fascinating things about Japan which can capture the Western imagination. 

Haider Ackermann and Erdem
Haider Ackermann and Erdem (photos:

In terms of fashion, street style pictures from Tokyo have already been published in several books. Japanese women have a particular way of styling themselves, they are always playful and fearless. 

Vivienne Westwood and Emilio Pucci
Vivienne Westwood and Emilio Pucci (photos:

But what seems to have influenced designers the most is the traditional and exquisite kimono. You can also add a Japanese touch to your wardrobe next season with an authentic silk belt available at Portobello market. 

Other related blog posts:
Street Vibes: Portobello Market
10 Things to Do Before You Die
Power Stylists

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