the similarities between african and asian print and the ways they compliment are really quite fascinating. take dries van noten's spring 2010 show @ paris fashion week, for instance. WWD reports that dries van noten drew inspiration from a variety of ethnicities and employed elements of the japanese kimono, indian sari, indonesian java batiks, etc. creating a fusion of sorts. yet, asia-influenced though they are, some of these pieces could very well pass for africa-inspired. in fact, this little anecdote further proves our point:
"Ankara, which now codes as "African," had its origin in Indonesian batiks. The Dutch colonial interest in Indonesia led to an effort to replicate these multi-colored and densely patterned fabrics in the Netherlands, an effort spearheaded in 1846 by the van Vlissengen family.
The idea was that the fabric could be mass-produced and bring in profits for the manufacturers. The experiment failed: the Indonesians preferred their own home-made fashion, and soon put heavy tariffs on the imports.
But by one of those historical ironies that characterises colonial adventures, Dutch freighters offloaded some of the bales of cloth in West Africa, and the African market took to it. This was in the late 19th century, and the van Vlissingen's company, called Vlisco, has dominated the design, supply and distribution of the cloth since then."