Monday, February 07, 2005

The Mediterranean Manifesto by Enzo Ciancia

Recent travels have convinced me of one thing: the future belongs to the Mediterranean!
I’m not talking pure geography here: the sea at the heart of the Roman Empire has long ceased to be the center of the world. The area now consists of often sluggish and by European standards “poor” economies on its northern rim, and civilizations wracked by centuries-old religious clashes on its southern rim. When I say the future belongs to the Mediterranean, I mean the Mediterranean state of mind, the Mediterranean spirit and lifestyle.
The 21st century is often said to belong to China, or even to India, but in any way to Asia, but how could those populous, busy, hardworking, chaotic giants of the future show any similiraties to the relaxed, blue-water beach mentality of the Mediterranean? The aspirations of those Asians who want to move foreward in the world correspond to the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Just look around in Asia: from the Ferrari-Maserati dealership on Shanghai’s Nanjing Road to the Italian restaurants popping up in the desert town of Jaisalmer on India’s frontier with Pakistan, from wine-tasting evenings in Taipei to plans for a nude beach on a Hong Kong island, those are phenomena that show the spirit of the Mediterranean is very much alive in Asia.
Asians want to share in the Mediterranean lifestyle, enjoy its fashions and foods, its relaxed lifestyle focused on the enjoyment of moderate sun and clean water, without sacrificing what makes their own cultures so specific and attractive to outsiders.
And just another example: what one billion Chinese are getting the most excited about, is a Mediterranean creation: the Olympics hosted by Beijing in 2008.
What is Taiwan Fashionista's part in all of this? Well, to witness the interests of Asians in things Mediterranean – most of the world’s most fashionable brands originate in Italy and France, with Spain as a secondary partner – and to record Asia’s, and especially Taiwan’s, own contributions to the development of the Mediterranean lifestyle with Asian characteristics.
The prime aim of this blog is still to provide visual information about style, design and fashion on the streets of Taipei, and that is what I will begin to do shortly.


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