12 October, 2011

On Lhakar!


Today is Lhakar and this post is dedicated to this day. 

Many of you especially who're not Tibetans must be narrowing their eyebrows questioning on the foreign word. Lha-kar is a Tibetan word which means White Wednesday. Lha is the abbreviation of Lhakpa (Wednesday) and Kar, the abbreviation of Karpo (white). It is a 'homegrown people's movement' by the Tibetans living in Tibet in an effort to boycott Chinese products and embrace Tibetan tradition and culture. It was started with a motive to preserve the culture which is slowly being overshadowed by the occupancy of the Chinese citizens in Lhasa which is flaring with each passing day. Young Tibetans like me who were born and raised in Nepal or India or America or Canada are so engrossed in the business of our modern life that we tend to overlook the importance of our fading tradition. Hence, I took it upon myself to take the pledge and celebrate Lhakar, celebrate the beauty of our culture, celebrate on being a Tibetan. 

You can pledge your support by turning into a vegetarian on this day, eating Tibetan cuisine, speaking in Tibetan, listening to Tibetan songs or reading Tibetan books or wearing Chupa. I went to Boudha early morning and made some prostration on one of the wooden planks inside the stupa. I'm a vegetarian today and I watched/listened to some Tibetan songs on youtube. I really love this song and I can't get enough of it. I don't exactly understand the lyrics but from the subtitle I realised it's a romantic song. Oh sweet romance! And this comedic rap song on Shapale is just toooo hilarious and downright awesome! As I'm starting to share some videos with you how can I possibly leave out Gomo Tulku. Although I don't support his change of lifestyle (I was so effin' mad to hear about him and totally despised him in the beginning) and although his music video is not an oriental one, I just thought I should share it here with you. It feels peculiar to say this now but I think in a way I respect his decision of coming clean and following his dreams to do full justice to his passion. And music is where his passion lies and he's quite good at it. Ok enough of GomoTulku! 
I thought of starting my day with tsampa but I just didn't feel like it today. I usually consume about half a small bowl of tsampa and I've loved it since I was a child. This goes to all the ladies out there: tsampa sucks out the grease and oil from your body and helps you lose weight. Yeah, didn't know that right! So after you're done with your scrumptious pizza or spaghetti, have a bowl of  tsampa next morning, it'll do your body good. 

You can go to Lhakar's official website for more updates and also post your pledge! 

08 October, 2011

my tribe!



137 minutes was what it took to get this artsy piece of work. Most people think it's fake nails but it's not. It's not even nail polish; a special kind of paint that undergoes a long procedure of coating one coat at a time, drying under the UV lights and then proceeding with the next coat. It's a rigorous process of coating and drying and coating again and drying again until the artwork is complete. And it can't be erased by a remover which means this will stay on your nails for as long as the nail outgrows itself. 
By the way, I didn't do this. Shree Krishna from Fancy Nails Spa at Lazimpat did this for me. He also works with Elements Nails Spa at Jawalakhel. It was for the magazine and I asked him to do tribal prints. Looking at  the work, can you tell that it's his first time trying such intricately detailed art? He usually does french manicure or elegant floral designs. But he managed to do it with so much diligence, it could'nt have been more perfect. 


If you want to get any form of nail art, you can contact him at 9851132433. He's your man! 

04 October, 2011

Nepal Fashion Week - a review!


So, I got another load of fashion last week with TGIF Nepal Fashion Week which had promised to bring out a show that would exhibit the best of the Nepali designers. It believed in progress and comparatively, it has upgraded its level from last year and the years before. The four day long fashion week started on the 21st of September and ended in a crescendo on the 24th of September at Hyatt Regency. I believe with the involvement of Bethany Meuleners, a recipient of Fulbright Scholarship to Nepal, who worked as the fashion consultant for the fashion week made the maximum difference this year. Although there were one too many designs that weren't desirable to even look at, the show did well in all its entirety and it was satisfying to see some designs that tried to move forward from the childish designs to fine cuts and presentable structured clothing.

Collections like Royal Wedding by Oodni Boutique, Buzi Api by Kashish Bhusal, Anita Shrestha, Shova Shrestha and Yeshi Choden Lama and Runway Report by Nilima Maden were noteworthy. These designers have the potential in doing a much better job in the years to come. Khusboo Dangol and Swarnim Rai’s bridal wear was undoubtedly a good collection. Buzi Api used neutral colors with patchwork on raw silk and blended cotton fabrics with hour glass and rectangular cuts. The opening of this collection was sleek: brown raw silk dress with black blended cotton half sleeves and piping. The collection was ‘dedicated to the new generation of women who aspire to lead’. The fitted dresses were structured with an appealing proportion, some dresses had piping around the waist and some had patchworks on the shoulders. But one all white look was the least appealing and also did not go with the collection as a whole.
One of the designs from Runway Report by Nilima Maden
Runway Report had one of the best designs. Cascade and pleats were used on satin, chiffon and leather fabrics. The opening look was an exotic long black dress with sharp dhaka patchwork on the shoulders after which the collection inclined more towards futuristic outfits with asymmetrical patent leather hemlines on long sheer skirts, patent leather empire waist dress with turquoise blue piping. To do futuristic cuts is a very tricky step as it is most likely to slant towards tackiness, but Nilima’s outfits maintained a balance and did not cross the fine line.

Besides local Nepali designers, there also was an international designer, Emdad Hoque, who has been a fashion designer for two decades. His ‘Tribes of Bangladesh’ represented different tribes in Bangladesh with a men’s and women’s collection. With earthy colors and tribal prints, the designer presented a raw look inspired by nature included in kaftan-ish kurtas, asymmetrical kurtas and colourful sarees.
Emdad Hoque's designs and the end of the first day of the show. 
Three divisions can be made with the collections presented at the fashion week. Good, Okay-ish and bad. Royal Wedding, Buzi Api and Runway Report can be categorised under Good. Casual Corporate by Neetika Dhakal, Karuna Natural Wears by Pranidhi Tuladhar and Nuzhat Qazi, and Manimal by Pratigya Thapa can be categorised under Okay-ish. Casual Corporate added some color blocking looks with blue satin shirt and long, red cashmere lapel jacket. The designer created the collection for working women who could work with comfort and style and also comfortably attend social events after 5 pm. The cuts were fine without any bumps but some of the skirts and designs looked a little stiff so doesn't fully make it an impressive collection. 

Karuna Natural Wears
Karuna has a collection of t-shirts with cool artsy prints
Karuna Natural Wears was a casual collection of organic clothing of shorts and skirts for the warmer days and mohair sweaters, hemp scarves and cotton jackets with frill hemlines for cooler days. Karuna’s was the most casual of all the collections in the fashion week.
Manimal, a fusion of man and animal, exhibited the designers love for animals and the use of faux fur and leather. The looks for Manimal were completed by accessories like faux fur scarves, biker gloves and fringed studded handbags that gave the collection a rocker chic appeal. The leopard printed one-shouldered dress, the snake printed dress, leopard printed faux fur sleeveless jacket and the faux leather pant exuded boldness that went along with its theme.
The opening look from Buzi Api

Buzi Api

Cinderella Dreams by Mohini Sunwa, Bina Maharjan, Amrita Pun, and Samjhana Nyaichai; Hippie Chicks by Romiya Mali, Aditya Thakur, Alina Thapa and Trijata Basukala; Thamel Nights by Nageena Shrestha, Bhagwati Sharma, Rajani Shrestha and Damitra Tiwari were the bad ones from the fashion week. Such collections are the ones that ridicule the notion of what a fashion week stands for and stop it from moving forward. Cinderella Dreams didn’t have anything that comes anywhere close to a designer wear. Odd net headgears or fascinators, clumsy stitching, not-so-pleasing designs were what the collection was all about. Hippie Chicks was a saddening reminder of the bad taste most designers had a decade ago. And why on earth does the term hippie always necessarily have to do something with Om, Shiva, rudraksha and ugly colors? This was a dreadful collection for a fashion week. Thamel Nights was another similar collection that was an overdose of the wacky kuirey clothes found all over Thamel. 
Not falling under these three divisions are collections that really confused me. Deathly Hallow by Rekha Rai, Sujina Ghimire, Nirmala Karkee and Sushma Rai and Wedding Gowns by Nilima Sharma. Deathly Hallow inspired from the Harry Potter series had net eye-patches, amusing arm accessories and huge buttons on a puffy jacket that made the model look stuffed. What a horrific collection! I bet there are other substantial subjects to get inspired from that is far, far away from the Harry Potter world. 
And Nilimas Studio showed an array of beautiful wedding gowns which were directly imported. For a while, I couldn't comprehend if the gowns were actually the studio's designs because I know for a fact that the studio is not a design house and nor is it run by a designer. How I wished it was. It is not, so how can ready-to-wear imported gowns be a part of a fashion week?
Although I liked structure of the gowns (not the material though), I simply cannot digest the fact that this imported collection of gowns was a part of the show. 
Other than the bad designs, what really pricked my eyes was the choice of footwear. The models would strut down the runway with these outfits wearing the most weirdest shoes that even a normal girl wouldn't be caught dead wearing. I mean, its simple logic. Which insane person would wear a polka dotted white block heels with a really elegant white tube gown? Or a really fugly black, pointy (like Pinocchio's lie detecting nose) ankle boots with a frilly skirt? The designers should've given some precision to the footwear and source out shoes that'd go with the collection and not allow the models to wear the same shoes throughout the fashion week. Come to think of it, they were wearing their own shoes. I'm not 100% sure but I say this after noticing most of the models wear the same shoes during the cocktail dinner.
And I also noticed most of the clothes weren't ironed. Wrinkled dresses and tops, not very presentable.

Anyways, after looking at 28 collections for four days continuously and clapping for the ones I liked, I can say with some amount of confidence that Nepal Fashion Week and the designers put in a lot of effort; and a lot of thought has been put into the designs. Despite this, further improvement is still required. With the progress NFW has made through the years, if the same consistency follows NFW will soon turn into a fashion conglomerate where designers, fashion enthusiasts and potential buyers meet to celebrate fashion and sit down for some serious business (and not to stare at the models or binge on free food and drinks).

Photos from Party Nepal
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