|Antique miniature cupboard and trunks|
Recently I caught up with one of my schoolmate who's now a fashion designer. I was constantly fed with the pictures of her designs on facebook and wanted to visit her studio, Dorpal Tibet Arts at Boudha which is also an antique shop. But time never favored. I'd been meaning to meet up with her and once I had even fixed a meeting with her but I couldn't make it, my bad! And I apologized to her about it and my apology has been accepted.
So it was during my Tihar break when Pechii and I were casually facebook-ing and discussed on doing this post. I had the time and she had a story to share and lots of designs to show.
I still remember back in the days when I was in my 3rd grade and Pechii in her 4th, me and my friends would bring blank sheets of paper and request Pechii to draw sketches of beautiful, barbie-like girls for us. Sometimes she'd make mermaids, sometimes girls in long, flowy gowns and pretty dresses. And she would do that for every single one of us.
That was more than a decade ago and today she's become what she always wanted to be: a fashion designer.
Soon after doing her Advanced Level, she took a short bridge course at Kristal Institute in Kathmandu. Thereafter, she was off to Bali to work with Paul Ropp. There she worked as the head of accessories and the designer for the children's collection for almost three years. "Paul Ropp is a hippy-chic and resort wear collection. It is for those who are not afraid to be naked."
As for Pechii's designs, they are very colourful, capricious and loud. The prints are very busy and it has a very South Asian feel to it. Her designs are not a replica of any international designer's. Pechii's collection has originality and she does not fear to do what might seem to be too garish for an audience who have now adapted to minimalism and safe styles. You will find maxi dresses with shimmery embroidery and silk dresses that feels very luxurious. The styles are not that will amaze you but it is the fabric and the prints that she chooses, the amount of glimmer and attention grabbing embroidery that she implies in her designs that sets Pechii's designs apart. "My collection is for those who want to stand out in a crowd in a good way. It's not something you will wear once and forget about it. It is subtle but risky as well, sexy and sultry."
None of the designs are reproduced; each piece is the one and only piece you will find. "Just imagine yourself in a beach or a resort wearing a very special silk dress that only you own and nobody else. It feels so good, right?"
Pechii mostly uses luxurious fabrics like pure silk, georgette and chiffon which are mostly imported from Indonesia and India and some are bought here in Nepal. These fabrics are not only expensive and beautiful but also very difficult to take care of. That's why Pechii also mentions that her collection is mostly for those who can not only afford to buy these luxurious fabrics but also afford to maintain it's richness.
She finds inspiration from travelling around the world, from monasteries, from cultures, Boudha stupa. "I grew up in an artistic environment. My house was and still is full of antique artifacts. That is what made me inclined towards art and fashion. Anything creative. Colours, music." And the prints on the textiles of her designs stand testamony to her statement. You will see the flower motifs and the geometric shapes that you normally see drawn on Tibetan antique furniture on her selected textiles.
|One of the designs she created at Paul Ropp|
So far she's only delved on summer collections. At the moment she's working on her winter collection where she will be playing with Garbadine fabrics, silk, linen and brasso for jackets. While working on a winter collection, she's planning on adding a menswear collection to her repertoire where she will yet again use silk. "Men are always seen wearing jeans, a shirt and leather jackets. I want to change that. My men's collection will be for those who know the value of silk and learn how to accept the comfort of silk."
I plan to visit her studio again when her winter collection is ready. Do look forward to my next post on Pechii.