The appeal of the East modeled by American designers in their dresses. Léon Bakst and his influence on the latest modes.
The temptation of the East — this topic yet again becomes a source of inspiration for American couturiers as they make their dresses. We don’t believe we should reiterate that the use of bright colors and Oriental appliqué work was dictated for the most part by the future visit of Sergei Diaghilev’s Les Ballets Russes with their remarkable stage sets and costumes by Léon Bakst. Naturally, that was not the first time a couturier borrows Bakst’s theater costume techniques. We saw this first in Paris and now in America. Those who have little idea about the Russian artist’s proficiency in the science of the color can be puzzled by the complex conglomerate of bright glaring colors and unusual shapes (as if in works of cubists and futurists), as it happened to Poiret a decade ago.
Too many stars
However, if we put on something of this kind as streetwear, you will look too “starry” for today’s environment. Therefore, designers took neutral tones and decorated the background with vivid colors in a random sequence, thus imagining the marriage of the East and the West, an intertwinement of colors and their absence.
The patterned taffeta contributes to the beauty of the dresses sewn based upon the French originals. Some of them make use of English chintz patterns along with the shine and gloss of silk. The pale colors are used for the background, on which various flowers, dragonflies, and butterflies are placed, with their shades mixed in the most unusual and unimaginable fashion.
A demi-season clothing option is the dining dress and the dancing dress with skirts made of metallic fabric and colored in broad stripes of various colors, whereas their corsages are made of metal lace or matching sateen. The effect is slightly theatrical and it also takes us back to the images of the East due to the bright and sparkling combinations. If a dress is designed for wearing throughout the day, it will be complemented by semi-transparent sleeves, but for more formal occasions, no sleeves are required.