Vintage Wearers Speak: What non-Western fashion aesthetics are you particularly attracted to or draw inspiration from?

Flashback Summer: Vintage Wearers Speak
Photo courtesy of Chronically Overdressed
This post is part of the "Vintage Wearers Speak" series. Read more about the series and find the other posts here.

Q: What non-Western fashion aesthetics are you particularly attracted to or draw inspiration from?  Why?

Any of you that have read this blog for a bit know I love including African and Middle Eastern aesthetics into my looks because of my fond memories of living in Egypt and Sudan. (I also like the "more is more" jewelry style of many bedouin tribes!) Although I haven't included it in my personal style, I also love the proportions of the Vietnamese ao dai from Vietnam and Japanese kimono. So elongating and elegant!
- Emileigh

I spent a month travelling in Indonesia and had a crush for Indonesian lifestyle and style. I do like batik patterns and sarong skirts for ladies or men. 
- Mademoiselle Monoï@mademoisellmonoi

When I went to China and Thailand, two years ago, I was drawn to decorations for the Lunar New Year, the Northern Thai mountains, and the unusual colors in the buildings and sculptures. Surprisingly, I was most inspired by the flight attendants outfits in China and Thailand. The clothing was very tailored and had embellishments of gold, rich jewel tones, and scarves tied to look like flowers. The clothing made the journey as unique as the destination. I researched what the uniforms would have looked like decades before. I ended up bringing the tailored details, rich jewel tones, and gold piping into my spring collection that year.
- Gianina, Well-Loved

After living in Japan for 5 years, Japanese culture has definitely effected almost every aspect of the way I live. I am drawn to the simple lines of the garments and the intricate patterns of the fabrics. A lot of Japanese print kimonos and fabric feel very deco to me and I like the use of color they have here.
- Lizzy, @iamlizzybits

Is Eastern Europe non-Western? I love the Eastern European folk costumes. Each region has its own traditions, styles, patterns, prints. I love that each regional costume, which was actually the Sunday best of the person wearing it, was hand made. In wealthier regions, the fabric would be bought in a larger city, but in the poorer regions, the women would weave the fabric themselves. The garments would then be embellished by ribbons bought in towns, but my favorite embellishment is the rich embroidery appearing on the shirts and vests. Sometimes it would be a floral motif, sometimes geometrical. In Poland and perhaps in other Eastern European countries there was no or very little Egyptian revival fashion in the 1920s. Instead, due to regaining independence in 1918 there was a lot of folk inspiration in fashion in the 1920s and 1930s. To sum up: I'm inspired by the make-everything-yourself tendency in the folk costumes, by the aesthetics and the role the played in Polish 1920s and 1930s fashion. I would love to own a true folk shirt, for example from Romania.
- Ewa@kleineewa 

I’m personally attracted by the Latin styles and like to wear them in order to glorify my own Latin/Afro origins. I also love the Indian aesthetics that inspired the 60s-70s psychedelic style.
- Rafaella, Império Retrô

I am inspired by pretty much every culture, but there are a few that resonate a little bit more than others. I am very interested in Asian styles, specifically Vietnamese styles. My boyfriends family is from Vietnam, and we are going together next year, and his family has been amazing with supporting me and my sewing, and he brought me back an Ao Dai when he went last (an Ao Dai is their traditional dress). I am also interested in South America, since that is where my grandparents are from, as well as Egypt and India.
- Katherine FunkThe Modiste

I am from New Mexico, where the Hispanic and Native American community plays a defining role in our culture and the state's distinctive aesthetic. Our historical architecture, jewelry, traditional garments and artwork showcase bright, cheerful colors and naturesque scenes as a way to pay homage to our vivid sunsets, our purple mountains, and our unique landscape. Being surrounded by this my entire life, I've learned to never shrink from bright colors with my clothes and I love nature scenes on garments. The style New Mexican and Mexican women had in the 1950s is one of my main inspirations - blouse-y peasant tops, colorful, gathered circle and patio skirts, flowers in the hair and comfortable espadrilles.  My very first true vintage garment was a hand painted Mexican (and very colorful) circle skirt and is still my favorite to this day! 
- Jocelyn de AndaSewing Siren

Being a Chinese who is born and bred in Singapore, I am definitely a huge fan of East Asian and Southeast Asian aesthetics. I am particularly found of cheongsams made with oriental brocade and sarongs in batik prints. 
- GwenGwenstella Made

I think that 1930s Chinese fashion has some of the most striking and interesting aesthetics ever.  It was really such a blend of Western fashion interacting with classical Asian design.  The hair and makeup is very old Hollywood glamour, but with the classic cheongsam, it really elevates the style into something elegant without over-embellishment.  The slinky fabrics are just so beautiful and feminine, but still practical and sleek.
- SabrinaVibrant Vintage

I love the drape and elegance of Indian sari. I love how they can be simple or opulent, and fit every weight and sized woman.

I absolutely adore the cheongsam, and pretty much anything out of pre-cultural revolution China. The cheongsam is such a beautifully perfect example of femininity, and growing up on movies like Flower Drum Song, and the South Pacific just added to my love of the cheongsam.
- Debbie Yam@happyyellowdress

I am actually quite drawn to "mash up" styles, especially 1920's Egyptomania.  I know it's not really authentic to a culture, but I enjoy seeing how the art and fashion world interpreted the past.
- Lauren MaringolaWearing History

I'm drawn to both the Indian saree and the Japanese kimono because I'm fascinated by draping and belting to fit a form, from the starting point of a relatively shapeless cloth and how elegant it becomes. When I was in Japan I was struggling with my weight and not feeling good in my clothes (I wasn't yet wearing vintage) and I realized the only thing I felt comfortable in was a yukata or a kimono. I still feel compelled to belt everything.
- Jessica Parker, @noaccountingfortaste

What non-Western aesthetics inspire you? What about them are you especially drawn to?

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