Overview for Asian Style: Indian Textiles & Fashion in Britain
South Asian textiles have shaped British fashion and dress for hundreds of years, from the cotton fabrics and fashionable chintzes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the silk and Paisley patterns of the nineteenth century and the hippy fashions of 1960s bohemia.
In the twenty-first century a new generation of British Asian fashion designers, stylists, photographers, film-makers and media entrepreneurs now influences contemporary British fashion, having recast the traditions of both British and South Asian styles in exciting ways that have entered the mainstream as ‘Asian Kool’ or ‘Indo-Chic’. Similarly, the dress styles of South Asian people now resident in Britain have contributed to an everyday cosmopolitanism in which identity is expressed through the language of dress, embracing the street style of Asian youth as well as traditional embroidery crafted by their grandparents, from sportswear to haute couture.
Multiple contributions by leading cultural commentators unite the intertwined histories of production, commerce, aesthetics, retail, display and migration, and show how British Asian style has become a vibrant part of our cultural heritage.