Parcha Fashion Show 2014

February 17, 2014 , by Jerusha Rai, Leave your thoughts
Parcha Fashion Show 2014 » My Dreams Mag

Up until two years ago, I was one of those snobs that downplay fashion as a superficial interest. But it was my first invitation in London to perform live music, so I was more than happy to put my crude assumptions aside. I nervously put on my coat, guitar on my back, ukulele in one shaking hand and Buspirone in the other, and set off to Parcha Fashion show. I wasn’t ready for what happened then.

The designers opened my eyes to the sheer artistic force involved in fashion design. The power it has to make a statement, to conjure up an atmosphere or emotion, could arguably match any other art form. And to my surprise, this can be done without the vast amounts of money I imagined was wasted in the process. Also, considering the discipline required by models in everyday life, in food and exercise, their skill in portraying a certain look, bringing theatrical flair to the clothing material and makeup, brought me newfound respect for the art of modeling. In fact, the show has contributed to charities in Nepal; this time part of the proceeds went to Happy Home Organization. I can say I was humbled by the realization that I knew nothing about fashion at all.

With unfaltering dedication, Parcha Productions have been organizing this annual event for 3 years now. Nawal Rai and Samir Gurung, with their team of volunteers, have done this with the vision of providing a platform for young Nepali designers. They invite international designers to participate as well so they can all learn from each other, and to expose Nepali fashion to a wide audience. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, but the team believes that the designers deserve an even better exposure. And hence, they are keen on making it a major event in London.

12-2Fashion enthusiasts, VIPs of UK’s Nepali diaspora, media persons, business people, friends, family and curious miscellany arrived at Porchester Hall on the 24th of January for the most recent Parcha Fashion Show. As promised, the Parcha team did it bigger and better this year. The audience entered into the elegant reception, struck by the grandiose marble walls and crystal chandeliers. A winding staircase, with crimson carpet up its length and ornamental bronze banisters, led them to a spacious hall. 

It was quite dark inside, with only the runway lit up. Seats along either side of the runway started filling up, until it reached full capacity, but people didn’t seem to mind standing. The show started and one by one the models walked down the runway, featuring the creativity of up and coming Nepali fashion designers in the UK. As the ethereal music enveloped the hall and everyone in it, all eyes focused on the sometimes daring, sometimes quirky but always dazzling clothing, accessories and make-up. Some were awestruck, some just puzzled, you know… the standard reactions to art.

Later, I talked to one of the talented participating designers, Krishma Subba, about what the event means to her. Krishma has already been on the cover of the popular Navyataa magazine in Nepal and been invited to Capital F.M.s charity fashion show after her designs were featured in the last Parcha fashion event. The self-taught designer reports, “I didn’t study fashion. I had never even tailored my own designs before Parcha gave me the opportunity to participate in the event. I didn’t know I had that capability. But when the team approached me, I realized that they had seen a potential in me. So I gave it a go.”


A Career Tailored For You

Krishma’s portfolio has grown and gained more attention with every year that she has been participating in the fashion show. Models, stylists and photographers have asked for her collections for photo-shoots. Krishma, who had been studying Tourism, was at an impasse with her course. Increasingly, she had been feeling like it was not the path for her. Just when she was asking herself what she actually wanted to do in life, the show provided insights. “I am grateful for the platform the show has given me. I always loved fashion but the annual event was an important motivating factor for me to keep making designs. And now, from the feedback I have gained through the show, I feel confident to pursue fashion more seriously.” The show is possibly more special to her than to other designers, she muses, as other participating designers might be used to the experience in the fashion universities that most of them go to.

This year, Krishma used neoprene for her garments (a material used to make scuba diving suits), but her designs were made from the dressmaking version of the material. Having to spend most of her time working at a restaurant, she was getting ideas to incorporate the many broken plates she saw into her collection. But with limited time, her approach was to spontaneously cut and sew the fabric without much planning. When the garment was done, she would look at it and realize it included bits and pieces of different things in her memory, glimpses of shapes and patterns she saw but couldn’t quite remember where.


“Them Fashionistas”Parcha Fashion Show

Krishma has observed the work of other Nepali designers from when they were at their foundation level and participating in the first Parcha show. “I think all our styles have changed since then, we are all growing as designers. I have personally found Valinda Rai’s work to have made impressive leaps.”

When asked what this fashion circle is like, Krishma says, “The fashion world can be quite cruel. Most of us are the kind of people that will tell you if there’s something we don’t like. We’re quite direct in letting people know if something is lacking in their work, which might make people feel bad but its a good thing when you’re making art”.

Indeed, their designs reflect their bold personalities; each of them have their own individual style and one would find it hard to pinpoint a commonality among these Nepali designers. Krishma reports, “I really like this about the Nepali fashion community. They don’t copy each other. Each of them wants to stand out, so we have such diverse designs”. 


Fashion Consciousness

Fashion is about feeling confident, says Krishma. “Self confidence, for some, may come through their intelligence, through reading books. For us, without downplaying our intelligence, our confidence comes from the way we present ourselves. Let’s face it: most people will always judge you by the way you look. You take a lot from a person’s fashion choice, like the kind of music you listen to shows through your band t-shirt or your Jordans. So fashion choice can be a cultural symbol as well, for expressing yourself and to associate with people who you might share an interest with”.

Realizing the benefits of fashion at the individual as well as the societal level, Parcha Fashion show is eager to play a part in developing the industry for Nepali society. Nawal cites world-renowned Prabal Gurung as an example, and how fashion has enabled him to bring Nepali art and culture to a global audience (his latest collection paid tribute to his heritage in Mustang), and to support social work (Gurung is a goodwill ambassador for Maiti Nepal and has his own charity,The Shikshya foundation, that sponsors the education of underprivileged children). 

“It’s also about creating jobs and careers for the rising numbers of young Nepalis who are interested in fashion. Its great that parents are starting to support them as well. This year we had national and international media persons, business people and VIPs and we hope to bring more people in from established fashion institutions in the coming years”, says Nawal.



Open Call: Parcha Fashion 2015

As they aim to add something new and grow every year, Parcha Productions are expecting designers to approach them by themselves. They inform that there will be an application process from the coming year. “It will be an encouragement for us as well, if designers and models show that they want the opportunity as well”. After looking out for and inviting designers to participate for the last three years, they now challenge designers and model to take the leap

These experienced event organizers, who have arranged everything from concerts to football tournaments to major parties, find that a fashion show is the most challenging event to co-ordinate. Nawal bets he could list over a hundred things you need to be looking out for. Nevertheless, he encourages young designers to participate. “You can increase your portfolio and gain valuable experience. You don’t really know what it is like to display your designs unless you actually do it”, Nawal says, hoping to motivate designers as well as models.

Gallery 1: Images – Parcha


Gallery 2 : Photographer – Nilesh Singh


Text By: Jerusha Rai

Please send us your comments at: feedback@mydreamsmagazine.com


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