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Naturalistic Themes Dominate Spring/Summer Fashions (March 28, 2005)

A jacket with shells attached (Abahouse Devinette)
African and Asian folk costume is one of the key motifs for spring and summer fashion in 2005 and featured heavily in the fashion shows of Tokyo and other couture capitals last fall. The coming season's fashions are marked by a naturalistic theme characterized by the use of plant and animal imagery; elements of Asian and African culture; and earthy pinks and beiges.

Shells, Beads, and Eagles
Japanese designer Onozuka Akira, who presented his Zucca brand at the Paris Collection, unveiled elaborate adornments and accessories on the theme of Calcutta, evoking images of classical Indian dance. The defining feature of Zucca's clothing this season is fine gathering and shirring, paired with highly ornate embroidery featuring the tiny round mirrors characteristic of traditional Indian folk dress.

Another Japanese brand, Abahouse Devinette, is also picking up on the theme of lavish adornment by sewing spiral shells and beads onto knit garments. Adornments inspired by African and Asian folk costume are even showing up in lines of formal dresses for parties and other special occasions. The shoe brand Alfredo Bannister, which is affiliated with Abahouse, has incorporated the bright colors of the face painting used in rituals by peoples all over the world into its sandals and other shoe lines. It has released lines of sandals and mules that use bells, stones, and seashells to achieve a naturalistic feel. Meanwhile, Iwatani Toshikazu's Dress Camp line of folk-inspired dresses is embroidered with eagle motifs and embellished with sequins.

The Warmth of Handmade Fashion
One reason cited for the popularity of ethnic-inspired fashion is that it combines the warm glow of handmade goods and the beauty of nature. In an increasingly complex world, these designs symbolize a straightforward beauty and brightness. As for the popularity of ornate fashion, some say this is simply an extension of the trend toward lavish accessories, which has been in swing for a few years now.

The brands coming out with folk-costume-inspired fashions are using detailed designs and high-end fabrics, adding a touch of refinement to the earthiness of folk garb.

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Copyright (c) 2005 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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(April 24, 2002)
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