Vootoo Entertainment are back with their popular fashion show Ruslan TRENDSETTERS. The grand fashion event took place on 13 September at Hotel Annapurna in Kathmandu with designs by AIRA, Bishwo Gautam, Tenzin Tseten Bhutia, Mu Ce, Bookhya, Pooja Bageria, Khusboo Dangol, Suruchira and Juneli. This phase of TRENDSETTERS will be travelling to 16 different cities across Nepal including Dharan, Dang, Butwal, Baglung and Nagarkot. The fashion show which had been choreographed by Rachana Sharma Gurung saw a bevy of Nepali beauties walking the ramp including Rekha Thapa!
Arati Limbu, a recent graduate in fashion from the UK was responsible for designing the AIRA and Colours Mobile collection at the TRENDSETTERS event. Apart from taking time out from the UK, Arati was also keen on exploring the fashion industry of Nepal. The young designer who has spent majority of her time living outside of Nepal was unfamiliar with the Nepalese celebrities and models who she met along the way. Not only was Limbu’s design worn by popular Nepali models Asmee Shrestha and Anjali Lama but also one of the most popular figures of Nepal right now, the one and only Rekha Thapa. The queen of controversy looked demure in the elegant red dress by Arati Limbu.
How did AIRA link-up happen?
I was approached by Manish Pandit of House of Alternative Apparel who viewed my portfolio few weeks ahead of my arrival in Kathmandu. The initial plan was to showcase my collection at Trendsetters 2013. However upon arrival he asked me to design two collections – AIRA and Colours mobile.
Rekha Thapa wore your design, how does that make you feel?
I am not very familiar with the Nepalese celebs and models… So when I started meeting all these various individuals I didn’t know how I felt at the time. Probably because celeb culture is non-existent here in comparison to back home in the UK. Rekha Thapa was assigned as my show stopper for AIRA and I found this a challenge mostly because I believe the use of showstoppers is unnecessary. On the other hand that is how fashion sells here in Nepal so I did what I could to fulfil the brief I was set. She is a well respected actress not a model so I had to design around her rather then make her wear something in uniform to the collection.
Your view on TRENDSETTERS fashion event?
Trendsetters is more a commercial event in my opinion. It sets a platform for designers but it still is a long way away from a fashion event as there is too much going on which distracts viewers from clothes – which initially is the main purpose of a fashion show.
Your view on the current fashion scene in Nepal?
Anyone and everyone is a fashion designer and a model in Nepal. Events like Trendsetters happen every few weeks but at a smaller scale. The fashion institutes do not teach students correctly from what I saw. I have failed to meet a single fashion student who has actually cut and sewn a garment. They are taught to look online for ideas then hand it over to ‘master ji’ which is saddening to see.
What’s next for you now?
Next step is to go back home and apply for MA. I haven’t made up my mind on whether to continue with womenswear or expand out to accessories.
Photo courtesy to Anjil Maskey PhotographyRead More: Rekha Thapa on WAVE Magazine! Dhangadhi & Narayanghat Experience TRENDSETTERS