Re-Orienting Fashion: The Globalization of Asian Dress (2003)

By: Sandra Niessen, ed.; Ann Marie Leshkowich, ed.; Carla Jones, ed.

The globalization of Asian dress needs to be understood as part of an ongoing Orientalism that construes Asia as a feminine Other to the masculine West. The conventional Orientalist definition of fashion as an exclusively Western phenomenon has proved self-fulfilling in both East and West so that the conceptual boundary between the two is continually reasserted by design. Paying close attention to Asians’ decisions about what clothing to make, sell, buy, and wear, the case studies in this book challenge Orientalist stereotypes of Asian style as passive and traditional and highlight how these actions are often made invisible by global cultural, rhetorical, and material practices that feminize Asia and the fashion world.

More Information


Oxford ; New York : Berg, 2003
Format: xii, 283 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
ISBN : 1859735347  9781859735343
OCLC : 51293829

Table of contents

Table of contents

Introduction: the globalization of Asian dress: Re-orienting fashion or re-orientalizing Asia? / Carla Jones and Ann Marie Leshkowich

— 1. Three scenarios from Batak clothing history: Designing participation in the global fashion trajectory 49 / Sandra Niessen

— 2. The Ao Dai goes global: how international influences and female entrepreneurs have shaped Vietnam’s “national costume” 79 / Ann Marie Leshkowich

— 3. Korean alterations: nationalism, social consciousness, and “traditional” clothing 117 / Rebecca Ruhlen

— 4. Designing diasporic markets: Asian fashion entrepreneurs in London 139 / Parminder Bhachu

— 5. National colors: ethnic minorities in Vietnamese public imagery / Hjorleifur R. Jonsson and Nora A. Taylor

— 6. Dress for sukses: fashioning femininity and nationality in urban Indonesia 185 / Carla Jones

— 7. Fashion-nation: a Japanese globalization experience and a Hong Kong dilemma 215 / Lise Skov

— Afterword: re-orienting fashion theory 243 / Sandra Niessen.

About the author

About the author

Dr Sandra Niessen earned her PhD cum laude at the State University of Leiden, in The Netherlands. She was Associate Professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta, Canada, until 2002, where she taught Material Culture, Cross-Cultural textiles, and the anthropology of fashion. In 2002, she became an independent scholar in The Netherlands working primarily on repatriation projects, writing, exhibitions and film projects. Her research has focused on the textiles and the textile revival of the Batak people of North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Adrian, Bonnie. “Re-Orienting Fashion: The Globalization of Asian Dress. Edited by Sandra Niessen, Ann Marie Leshkowich and Carla Jones. Dress, Body, Culture Series. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2003. Xii, 283 Pp. $74.95 (Cloth); $24.95 (Paper).” The Journal of Asian Studies 63, no. 3 (2004): 761–64. doi:10.1017/S0021911804001731.

Student reviews