I've heard somewhere that oriental style clothes are big news this season. Please could you help me find a few staple pieces on the high street? - Angel
Of course! I wouldn't necessarily say that this look is particularly prolific this season, but there is a definite Far-Eastern vibe floating around beyond all that velvet and Victoriana. The look of the moment is actually more Japanese than Chinese, concetrating on Kimono shapes (particularly sleeves) and interesting fabrics, rather than the typical Western take on the 'Oriental' look - embroidered mandarin collar blouses and Cheongsam dresses. That said, there are a few nice Chinese pieces floating around...
River Island's limited edition black satin oriental top with a cut-out section is a bargain at £34.99 and would look fantastic with a black satin pencil skirt and heels. Monsoon have come up with a beautiful silk brocade jacket (£160). It's listed as being Victorian-inspired, but with those covered buttons and Mandarin collar, it has a very oriental look.
On a more Japanese look, many of the cropped shapes from last season have been updated this time around with the addition of wide, kimono-inspired sleeves. They're fantastic if you don't like your upper arms! The jacquard trim cropped kimono jacket from Topshop (£65) is an example of one of the most outlandish examples of the trend. If you fancy something a little more subtle, go for a kimono sleeved knit, like Miss Selfridge's chiffon ribbon trim one (£30).
Other great finds on the high street include Warehouse's oriental silk shrug (£40), a blue print dress with kimono sleeves from Dorothy Perkins which is great for curvier girls and those wishing to flatter a large bust (£30), and River Island's £19.99 kimono sleeve shrug.
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