Asian fashion is perhaps most widely associated with the quirky, original creations that have come out of Tokyo in recent decades. While Japanese style has undoubtedly influenced the growth of fashion in Asia, there is abundant creativity to be found in cities across this vast continent and unique approaches to dress that have remained largely hidden from the outside world. Rich influences are being absorbed and reapplied in new ways to create bold fashion statements that scream innovation and individuality. From Bangkok’s seemingly effortless blend of vintage and modern to Seoul’s layered, sleek chic with a daring twist, the diverse results reveal an irresistible quality that unites Asian fashion as a whole; the refusal to conform to a uniform and conservative form of dress.
James Bent has been photographing street fashion in Asia for a number of years and has traveled extensively throughout the continent in his quest to capture its wealth of clothing styles. Collectively, his photographs take us on a vibrant visual journey of creative fashion at its best, sparking our imaginations, inspiring fresh interpretations of style, and inviting us to view our own wardrobes in a new light.
Dispels what many have come to expect of street style from the region: Absent here is Harajuku’s lollipop palette, the outré ensembles with fantastical flourishes that for a time defined Japanese—and by extension, continental—proclivities…Asia’s increasingly discerning customer is, in turn, increasingly looking for refinement and taste over anything ostentatious or spotlight-hogging. Bent’s photographs show hundreds of examples of that search for the antidote to OTT style.
Creative inspiration [for] the sartorially stunted…The utter uniqueness of nearly every ensemble pictured makes it hard to generalize about Asian street fashion as a whole: Bent's subjects tend to buck trends in favor of self-expression.
— Fast Co.Design
James Bent is a street fashion photographer and the owner of the fashion blog AsianStreetFashion.org. He lives in England.