Thursday, August 10, 2017

Asian inspired retro style

A new addition to my video series about world makeup and style, inspired by different cultures, is the Asian inspired retro style. As the biggest continent, Asia would be impossible to reflect in a single look. So I was focusing on typical style components of- for example- China, Japan, Thailand or Indonesia to inspire me here. Also, I combined style elements of the 1930s up to the 1950s for this retro-mix. Asia is so large, that it takes up a third of the entire world’s land area.
Some countries are geographically in Asia, but belong to very different cultures and therefore other traditional roots of style. Yet we usually think of particularly Chinese or Japanese basics when an Asian style is aspired.
I too have chosen a traditional Chinese silk blouse, to go with a 1940s style skirt and 50‘s shoes in a plum shade. To complete the retro-look, I‘ve decided to wear my hair in a 1930s faux short bob, that I simply achieved with the help of pin curls.
The makeup was often sophisticated and rarely overdone. The Asian ladies of the past- as many of the present- loved their sheer skin to be treated well, for an excellent even complexion and often went completely makeup-free.
I leaned into that idea and chose a truly simple makeup look with a 50s eyeliner, 1930s thinned eyebrows, fresh cheeks and a soft shade of lipstick.
The colors of traditional Asian clothing were often not only pretty, but often were specifically associated with various dynasties. The Chinese Shang dynasty was clearly connected with white, while black was the dominant shade in the Xia dynasty.
Aside from the- until this day- often seen immaculate makeup of the Asian lady, there are still people who imagine a geisha makeup when referring to traditional looks of Japan for example. In reality, the geisha style was and still means an impressive effort for the skilled woman entertainer. Who is known for her talents and grace in various fields, like music, calligraphy, literature and other cultural and intellectual aspects.
The daily style routine of many women in Asian countries though, would be a very clean, mellow one. The desired complexion changed here and there. So was a pale skin the ideal in one decade, in another a tan was seen as a positive statement of being proud of the hard work done by people on farms and in the fields. A similar shift to many other countries in the world.
To this day, traditional clothing and a particular approach to style and beauty, is what often defines a culture and enchants another. It does not only teach us the new, but inspires us with old ways of creating and maintaining a beauty that is more than skin deep. I was especially exited to try a few things myself and create my own little version of an Asian-inspired retro style, that makes me feel transnationally connected to this beautiful, impressive continent.


  1. Liebe Lily,
    wunderbar - es gibt auch einen Blog!!
    Gerade erst entdeckt und die Arbeit ruft...aber welch herrliche Aussichten...
    Dir viel Freude am bloggen, einen schönen Spätsommertag
    herzliche Grüße

    1. Vielen lieben Dank und herzliche Grüße!