As technology advances, it seems that the world is becoming a smaller and smaller place. From the invention of the World Wide Web to advances made in transportation technology that make traveling immensely more convenient, technology has certainly increased our knowledge of other cultures, places, and people. Because of this, small elements of other’s unique cultures are all intertwining with common, everyday American lifestyles. Although the world of food is one obvious example of this, the influence of foreign cultures is reaching further than just American’s plates. The fashion industry is a great example of how foreign influences are broadening American’s stylistic ideals.
India is a country that’s fashion influence is spreading into American malls and fashion runways. These brightly colored fabrics are appealing in their unique patterns and shades, and the versatile styles of the clothing has added to their interest quality. With this summer’s trend of longer “hippie-like” dresses, the longer free flowing Indian silk “scarf” dresses were a perfect match. These long dresses are similar in style to the regular long plain dresses at stores such as Target and Macy’s, except that these Indian dresses offer more versatile tops; the front of the gowns can be adjusted and tied in several different fashions to change the feeling and look of the dress, depending upon the occasion. The Indian dresses are also much more intricately patterned, each one looking different from another. These dresses are available off of ebay.com for prices comparable with the regular department store’s longer casual dresses. Additionally, the free flowing fabric makes these gowns ideal even as maternity wear.
Another fun fashion from India that is becoming more prevalent in malls and kiosks across America is that of the kariza skirts/dresses. These skirts/dresses are made up of several unique vintage Indian scarves sewed together in such a way that the wearer of a kariza can wear it as a skirt, scarf, or several different styles of dresses (from strapless to a more “peasant style” strap). Although several fashion magazines and brands are advertising karizas now in malls, I would suggest purchasing some off of reliable ebay sellers, as their prices are much more affordable, even with shipping and handling fees.
Finally, many different styles from South Korean fashion are filtering onto western mall mannequins. Lighter, flowing short dresses are popular for Korean fashion models and the western style of shorter dresses over jeans or leggings is reminiscent of this style. Stores such as Forever 21 and 20 Below are full of daintier blouses that mimic these fashions, often made in Asian countries themselves.