Pattern and Ornament: An Oriental Influence - Essay Example

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This essay discusses that the first real connection to Oriental fashions within the modern Western world can be traced back to the fashions of the Edwardian Era, which is dated in the final decades of the 1800s and the beginning decades of the 1900s…
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Pattern and Ornament: An Oriental Influence
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Download file to see previous pages Contributing to the popularity of Oriental influences in Western fashions was the flexibility and versatility of these styles to transcend economic and social barriers. While some costumes called for great quantities of the most expensive fabric available and months of daily toil to embroider the simplest designs, others proved to be quite economical in terms of time and resources. As many Western countries enjoyed wealth and prosperity in the early 1900s, the glamour and excitement of the far Orient dazzled the minds of the young upper class and led to the development of increasingly luxurious fabrics such as silk to be used in the gowns and party dresses of the ladies. However, as war ripped through the land and women began turning to their own sewing machines as a means of economizing, these same influences proved useful in restricting the use of fabric and lending themselves easily to home-made clothing. “During the 1930s, fashion trends were driven by more than practical economy. A different and seemingly contrary impulse had a powerful effect – the yearning for the unattainable, for the lost world of the 1920s, in short for glamour, the key concept in 1930s high style clothing” (Ames, 2005). By making their new dress in a less expensive fabric, based on a simple traditional Oriental design, middle-class women were able to depict themselves as glamorous and feminine without losing their sense of power while still cutting down on the family expenses.
The majority of Japanese traditional influences upon fashion exist in the styles of the kimono, mo, yukata and the hakama. Chinese clothing contributed the pine-fu, the qipao, and the then-i. Each of these costumes has subtle characteristics, such as collars, borders, embellishments, and construction, that have been borrowed, changed or elaborated upon for different effects in the artistry of the designers through the past century. Early designers included Paul Poiret and Leon Bakst (Thomas, 2006). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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