This came out of (a) me contemplating how different tea cultures of Azeroth would have developed (i'm going to write about that too eventually) and (b) someone asking me if the tiling patterns/geometric screeny things in Dalaran looked Ottoman to me too.
My answer: yes it does--and incidentally, this is one reason why the High Elves and Blood Elves are not universally as pallid as--well--ME when I'm drawing or writing them. (Again, the credit for my getting into thinking of this at ALL goes to my amazing girlfriend and her patience and insight and badassitude XD)
Seriously, none of their architecture is fully European in origin. Silvermoon City is not ttly zomg Euro-looking in the least, and neither is Dalaran.
(Hold on tight, guys--I'm about to hardcore art nerd all over the place.)
The primary influences seem to be Byzantine and Mughal architecture (and the somewhat-wacky Victorian British take on these), as well as the Art Nouveau movement which was itself inspired in part by Japanese and Mughal and Arabic architecture and art. ( yukie: getting nerd all over journals since 2001~ )
Anyway. All this is what informs a lot of my depiction of Blood Elven and High Elven culture. It's also why not all of my Blood Elven or High Elven OCs are especially pallid. XD Kristios and Kleidion are the palest, about the same hue as me; Ishandarr is medium-olive-complected with freckles, Aerionn, Serhan and Isythalar are medium brown, and Lytaea is a darker copper. And Mireillie is bluish, but she's kind of also undead circa the Zerging of Lordaeron so there's that XD
there is my rationale, nerding, jargon, and DAFUQ WAS DAT XD