If ever there were a medium that was porous and open to any inspiration, it would be fashion. Every season, new brands appear, following each other year after year, with each one giving the impression of reflecting society. Trends are proof that our world is made in a way in which cultures complement each other. Take for example Asian fashion, which started appearing in France in the 1980s, and hasn’t stopped evolving since. Thanks to Japanese designers, but also Korean, Asian fashion has discreetly - but enduringly - shaken up Western codes, and forged a reputation as a veritable laboratory for trends that should not be overlooked when looking for inspiration! Between audacity and quality; let’s take a look at this style whose outlines are well defined.
Asian fashion, an audacious spirit
Whether we’re talking about Japan, known for the quality of its finishing touches, or Korea, represented by numerous popular figures, Asian fashion is a fashion that dares! Using asymmetry or oversized patterns as companions in the creative process, Asian fashion can be seen more and more on European catwalks, and with good reason!
Indeed, this ability to break free from regularity goes in conjunction with a certain neutrality that makes the association of the two wonderfully balanced. For example, Korea is a country that is strongly influenced by Western culture, especially American. Within this perspective, there are numerous inspirations, which combine wonderfully with the national spirit. There’s only one step between imposing geometric shapes and neutral colors!
This often yields pieces that fall somewhere between casual and streetwear, and whose masterful cuts no longer surprise anyone. Indeed, if there is one element that distinguishes Asian fashion, it is the way in which the garments are cut.
Asian fashion is defined by this principal detail which, in reality, is what gives it it soul. Indeed, between wide pants (including those that recall the hakama, which resemble the bottom of a kimono), various kinds of draping, or loose silhouettes (primarily on top), Asian cuts are quite different from those we are used to finding in European stores.
And for good reason. Whether we’re talking about Japan or Korea, Asian fashion takes the notion of comfort very seriously and brings it into a more stylish realm that yields garments that are loose, but well cut. That is the strength of Asian fashion!
On the other hand, it is not rare to encounter message t-shirts and relatively flashy colors, all the contrary of neutral tones. This is simply because Asian fashion also enjoys showing off a dash of eccentricity, which allows for making this relationship between style and comfort as balanced as possible.
Hence, we can just as easily encounter a stylish look that combines a long trench coat, a loosely cut and fluid shirt with a geometric print, and a pair of loose, baggy trousers. This mastery of cuts characterizes the fashion that comes from Asia, which knows how to beautifully enhance checks and asserts itself as an excellent source of inspiration to be combined with Western style.
A porous fashion
Even if white is just starting to come back strong, a light coloured pant is not at all new for Asian fashion. Indeed, local brands are known for their remarkable capacity to combine contrasting elements and re-visit menswear classics in sometimes surprising ways, but always with a minimalist aspect. Beyond the example of the white pant, the limits of Korean style seem to stretch to infinity. This same sense of minimalism can be seen in Asian labels and brands like Gerio, Comme des Garçons, and ERROR. The latter became known by a larger audience thanks to its collaboration with Puma, and in France with its collaboration with Orelsan in his “Rêves bizarres” video. With its dash of streetwear and big dose of minimalism, Asian fashion succeeds in seamlessly blending casual with atypical and, as a bonus, being open to the world that surrounds it.
Because, if there is one characteristic element of this fashion it is its permeability to surrounding inspirations. Typically, the majority of Asian brands do not hesitate to propose their own version of the stereotypes of a genre. Re-interpretations that also inspire Europeans, on and off the catwalks. In sum, an exchange of solid, inspirational procedures that place Asian fashion into a starring role in the international market. Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul; it’s no coincidence that the fashion weeks of these large cities are attracting more and more people.
Between Beams, Jogung and Curly Co, Asian fashion is hence a condensation of everything that no one dares to do, thanks to the way it mixes elements in ways that are atypical but measured. A perfect blend of creativity and subtlety that wonderfully captures the spirit of this continent that knows how to stand out without ever showing off.
Photography : 8seconds / WTAPS / Real Mccoy / COS / WACKO MARIA