28 September, 2011

Kathmandu Fashion Parade

With two huge fashion events, the city was high on fashion last week. First up was the Kathmandu Fashion Parade (KFP) on the 17th at Hotel Yak and Yeti and then the Himalayan Times TGIF Nepal Fashion Week from the 21st to the 24th at Hyatt Regency. To be honest, I was more excited about KFP because it is a team of young people with fresh ideas and also because it was its first attempt so there was no preconceived notion. I liked the concept, the promotional photos, and the constant facebook updates really had me looking forward to the show. Most people I know felt the same but some thought it was only hyped. But we cannot really tell until we see it for real and we shouldn't base our opinions on rumors. I'm a person who follows the notion 'seeing is believing' and I had to see this with my naked eyes. 
This post is dedicated to KFP. My next post will be on TGIF. 
The VIP invitation card
The envelope
So at 6:20 pm, I reached the hotel. Parked my car and strutted on my platforms for the show. I was supposed to be late. I was late, shy by few minutes. But surprisingly I was actually too early. To everybody's dismay, the organising team faced some technical difficulties which delayed the show by 1 hour and 30 minutes. Phew! That was a long, long wait. While I was waiting I tried scanning for free wifi - unsuccessful. I tried looking around for nibbles - unsuccessful. I tried looking around for something interesting to look at or talk about - unsuccessful again. Everybody was almost starting to yawn, staring at each other or at the stranger across the 'flat' runway with a straight face. Before I could go out to look for something to entertain myself, the show started. I was so thankful it started.

You can read my review on KFP in the October issue of Living magazine. But for now, here's a tiny bit about the show. And I can't share better pictures of the clothes because: 
a) I apparently don't have a camera 
b) that's why I'm always using my Blackberry to take pictures
c) most importantly, I was seated at the second row. The second row for god's sake. I couldn't find a seat at the front row, darn it!  
This is the view of my foot at the second row. You can also see the chairs of the front row.
KFP had 3 designers (Astik Sherchan, Laura Queening from Aura Que and Nuzhat Qazi), 1 boutique (Oodni Boutique by Khusboo Dangol and Swarnim Rai) and 1 fashion house (House of Alternative Apparel) showing their collections. First was Astik Sherchan whose designs were inspired by Mughal paintings, the French gardens, the Black Swan and the French opera which is what set his designs apart from the rest.

Then, there was Oodni Boutique whose lehengas and kurtas blew me away. I never got the urge to try bridal wear as bad as I did while watching the models walk past me one after the other with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan playing in the background. 

The third collection was House of Alternative Apparel (HAA). HAA's was very simple and street style. The collection was in muted shades of blue, brown and maroon and dominated by dresses with full sleeves and half sleeves. There were men's collection as well but it looked like it came somewhere from North Face. 

Laura Queening had a make-shift stall at the venue and the bags, the wallets and the snood made from Buffalo leather, Banana yarn and hand-woven cotton had fabulous texture. Her collection of handbags, wallets and knits come in dark shades. On the runway, I liked the presentation of her collection the most. I don't know who pitched in the idea of doing it but whoever did it made sure of making the audience remember the collection. I'd love to own an Aura Que one day. 
Also look at the Chef taking pictures 
I had already seen Nuzhat Qazi's bridal collection when I did an interview of her on her first ethnic collection, Bridesmaid. I'd like to call it - her ethnic collection - a modern day bridal wear. It's not one of those conventional ones with heavy embroidery, lots of glitter and shimmer. For KFP, she presented a modified version of the collection she showed me for the interview. Changing and switching the ensemble of the outfits and adding few new ones, she created another collection, My Best friend's wedding. I wouldn't say the odd combination of one or two lehengas and blouse/top catered to my taste, but I believe she is better with ethnic wear than dresses or skirts.    

An event which would've turned out to be a great one went through so much technical horror because of which the official video and the introductory videos of the designers could not run. It was saddening, more so because the videos especially the promotional video is very impressive. I watched it on facebook, they've posted all of the videos including the pictures of some of the collections. Check them out! 

in the end...
Thumbs up to: the idea of a flat runway, hair and make-up, the people behind the video, the selection of models, the logo and lastly, to the entire team of KFP for initiating on this project. 

Why not?: have stadium seating next time (those seated at the second and the third row would be very grateful), do a trial-run before the main day to avoid problems of any sort, avoid tracks from the movie Fashion (it's just too obvious and tacky))    

There will be a Spring/Summer Collection in the February and I get a feeling it's going to be much more organised. And also it'd be great to see more designs from the designers and new, unknown and talented designers share the runway with the already known ones. 
What I wore. I won't say I'm crazy about the shirt but the skirt, yeah! 
This is only a brief review on KFP. My detailed review will be published in the magazine so grab a copy on October 15th.

18 September, 2011

chapter anew

Lately, I haven't had much time to do what I'd normally get to do; browsing through websites and blogs and jumping from one URL to the other, blogging a little about what I saw and did and heard and felt, making time for window shopping. Well, I wouldn't complain much because I traded all these leisure time for a whole lot of work. 
Most of you who know me already have guessed what I'm hinting at. Yes, I've switched jobs. It would've been a forgone conclusion to say to no to the offer. After contemplating and weighing on few matters here and there, I joined ECS Living and it's been more than a month that I've been working 9 to 5, 6 days a week. I'm content with how things are going, so far so good. 

When I joined, the magazine was going to start it's next project on a 300+ pages. Correction: When I joined, we were going to start on our next project on the 300+ pages. After forging relentlessly to meet the deadlines, we turned our long list of planner and things-to-do into a real magazine. When the first few samples arrived, there was a whole lot of commotion circulating around the office. We flipped through and through and  it wouldn't end (exaggeration to be noted). But honestly, it is bulky. And for the record, this is the first time ever that a Nepali magazine has ever come up with such a magazine, I refer to the number of pages.  
Besides coordinating the contents, I've worked mostly on the fashion sections. The pages illustrate street fashion from Paris, Milan, New York, London and Bangkok (The Global Trend), Nuzhat Qazi's bridal collection (Testing new waters), an Italian woman's love for fashion (The Italian Job), Sarita Chamling Rai's fashion show (and 'The Show' ends) and Kishor Kayastha's  fashion spread (Arty Fashion). 
These are only the contents on fashion.  

The Cover
It is this thick, if I need to emphasise more!
My space. My moodboard.


A couple of weeks ago, I went for a short film movie screening at Docskool  with Acha Lhamo where my friend Pranaya Rana's  fiction movie, Watcher, was being screened. It was a 'thought-provoking' movie. It starts as a simple, plain movie but as it procedes towards the end it really makes your mind rewind and think over what happened in the beginning, how it got to the end and what to make out of the concluding scene. Each person would have their different perspective on the movie especially the bit part in the end. I was most preferably impressed by the post-production works of the movie. There is a smooth continuity about Watchers.
The other movie they screened was Forgive, Forget Not by Pranay Limbu. A non-fiction movie based on the real life atrocities caused upon Bhaikaji Ghimire, a journalist who was accused of being a maoist and detained and blindfolded for 15 months. Pranay has done the camerawork in a way to project what the eyes of the accused saw. And with that and the sound effects, throughout the movie he manages to create a dramatic tension. It brings you closer to Bhaikaji's trauma - the pain and frustration. It would be demeaning for the protagonist to say that we can feel what he must've been through because during such gruesome and trying times noone can best describe and know the feeling than the bearer himself. It's a must, must watch for every single Nepali. 
Apart from the movies, I absolutely loved how the people at Docskool have used the small space of two rooms. One at the top floor is not even a room, it's an area between the staircase and the balcony.
Lokta paper used as wallpaper. They've tried a checkerboard pattern to it.

The three rows of bench were all of different heights arranged in an ascending order so that everybody could 'see' what they were watching.
...and comes the Friday nights

Taboo at E.P. on Friday nights... 
...and Boudha's delicious potato sticks. 5 sticks and still greedy for more. Needless to say, I have a huge appetite. 

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