East meets West or did the West finally find the East?

Alexander McQueen A/W2008 and Marchesa S/S 2012
As my style has evolved over the years I have become extremely captivated by Eastern inspiration. This originally started with my obsession with Alexander McQueen and his 2008 British/Indian collection inspired after his trip to India earlier that year. Generally for me this entails many slave bracelets, head chains, pendants, ear cuffs, and so on in my wardrobe but when I made friends recently with a girl at FIU who told me that she had a whole collection of custom made pieces from Pakistan and Dubai I couldn't resist asking her to bring some of them to my room to photograph. 

As we went through each piece I was shocked at how  many of the details, color schemes, and embroidered patterns are showing up just recently in our Western fashion. Although we only photographed clothing I couldn't help but think about how all of her pieces could effortlessly be paired with intricate headpieces and pendants such as the ones that I have in my own collection. It also made me think about how head chains and and slave bracelets are becoming "in-fashion" now and how ridiculous that is. The history behind such adorned, intricate, and extravagant jewelry pieces is that it has strong ties to Arabic wedding rituals. Brides wear large amounts of jewelry on their wedding day to show how important they are. Although I am glad to see that this beautiful jewelry is finally making its way into Western fashion at the same time it upsets me to see how many people wear these pieces and are ignorant to the history and cultural references they hold. 

Perhaps I am being insulting to the culture myself by wearing the jewelry out of context and so casually but like Alexander McQueen I like to think that I am appropriating it and giving it to have a new context in fashion. I know I can't expect everyone that wear's clothing to be willing to research the history of it if there is some so I'll try to make it my job to teach it to you out there who perhaps didn't know. 
The pictures above are from the Chanel Pre-Fall 2012 collection, a bride in India, and a headpiece you can currently buy on I Don't Like Mondays. Clearly in the Chanel version of Bombay they stayed true to classic Chanel in the ad's but there were some pieces in the show that were very out of context to Chanel and could easily blend into a soiree or wedding in Bombay.  I also like I Don't Like Mondays version of a classic chain headdress. By adding the pearls and raw crystal it takes on a very bohemian-gypsy like vibe.

To finish this off I wanted to share some inspiration and websites that you can purchase your own head dress, slave bracelet, or even nose chain if your daring enough (I've got one on the way....). The photos on the far right and bottom left come from The Glamourai's Marrakech inspired shoot. Photographed by Jaime Beck and Kevin Burg and styled by Kelly Framel to see the whole series (of which I HIGHLY recommend) just click here. If you are interested in purchasing any of the other pieces below you will find a link to get them underneath the photo.

Top left to right: ASOS Nose and Chain Earring, Drone Jewelry Slave Bracelet and Nose Chain, Mr. Kate Starburst Head chain,
Bottom left: Unknown image but if you type in "leaf hand chain" on Ebay I'm sure you will find it; ASOS Hand Chain