The kurta continues to exert an influence in the 2012 Spring/ Summer menswear shows too

Asia has contributed much to the global fashion lexicon. From paisleys, ikat and batik, to the sari drape, bandhgala, churidar and dhoti, elements of influence include embellishment, prints and dyeing techniques as well as silhouettes. Turbans are having a bit of a moment now, as seen in Etro and Jean Paul Gaultier, while the boxy lengthened-torso silhouette of Japan is also being increasingly seen in menswear. However, for sheer versatility and ability to transcend from menswear to women’s wear, and vice-versa, the kurta has few counterparts. It got a pared down, modern, non-local version a few seasons ago, courtesy design houses like Jil Sander (under Raf Simons) and Celine. The kurta is still a work in progress, judging from the Spring/ Summer 2012 menswear shows in Milan and Paris.

Etro, the Italian label that has always had one eye trained on the East, this time while playing with paisleys paired vertically striped kurtas with coats and matching stoles.

Tomas Maier at Bottega Veneta sent out relaxed shapes in an earthy palette where the only prints coming in the form of reverse-printed floral abstracts. The tunics here came paired with pullovers, casual-fitted trousers and sneakers.

Bill Gaytten’s been performing the uncomfortable and ungrateful task of fitting into John Galliano’s shoes, two pairs of them actually — at Dior (the task’s now befallen Raf Simons) as well as Galliano’s eponymous label. At the John Galliano Spring/ Summer 2013 menswear show in Paris, it was prints (flowers, snails, etc.) put under a magnifying glass, a departure from the season’s microprints trend. The kurta here came collared and with horizontal stripes.

In a line inspired by the Holy Mother, Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy fused the kurta with T-shirts akin to the surplice worn by altar boys, the former occasionally sheer.