Bethany Meuleners, a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, is currently in Kathmandu, Nepal and is working with Felt Industries Association of Nepal, the Handi-Crafts Design Centre, the Women’s Entrepreneurs Cooperative, and affiliate organizations for introductions to the artisan communities, local industry and trade. She will be sharing some fun stories with us about her time in the lovely country.
I couldn’t have picked a better time to arrive in Nepal. Just 9 days after I arrived was the start of TGIF Nepal Fashion Week.
All of the advertisements, billboards and articles said that it was invite only, but I decided that I’d still try to make my way in. Afterall, I am here studying fashion.
Determined to make it in, I got dressed up (I managed to make it to Nepal with a few dressy and stylish outfits for such an occasion) and showed up sans ticket. It turned out to be a fashion week fail as I was turned away at the door. Not a complete disaster, as I got the business card of one of the marketing guys at the organizing company. As it was invite only, they were already at capacity for the evening but he told me to come see him the next day.
Defeated, I got in a taxi and headed home. I spoke to my friend Kerry on the phone about my fail for the evening. She informed me that in Nepal, Tuesday is Ganesh’s day and he removes all obstacles, so that the next day was sure to be better.
After having my very first language class, I trekked for 45 minutes in the rain (uphill both ways of course) to the marketing guy’s office. He was able to get me a ticket for Tuesday night’s show.
Determined to not be late, I got ready early and headed out with plenty of time to spare. I got to the hotel 45 minutes before the doors opened. So I wandered around the hotel and checked out the spa and pretended like I was a guest.
When I got to the entrance my new friend led me in and told me I could sit in the front row. I took my seat and the venue slowly filled. The whole set up was very professional and better than some shows I have seen in the U.S.
To read more follow the jump.
It was the student night for Nepal Fashion Week. It was interesting to see the points of view of Nepali students and there were definitely some collections that stood out. The whole event was a great platform for these students to be a part of a large production and see what works and is received well by the audience.
When the show was over, I decided that I needed to mingle, because it would be a shame if I made it in and then didn’t talk to people. I noticed that the gentleman next to me seemed very invested in the show and definitely had some opinions so I struck up a conversation. After introducing myself and explaining what I was doing here in Nepal for a year, I learned that he was actually the managing director of the entire event.
What a lucky seat placement! After making friends with him, he brought me around and introduced me to all sorts of people involved with the show and ensured that I got an all access pass for the rest of the week.
Fashion week fail becomes fashion week success!
A friend of mine here told me that I need an “I’m famous in Nepal” T shirt because I had a picture in the Himalayan Times. I don’t think I’m quite there, but here is a photo of my fame-ishness:
Click here for more about Bethany’s adventures. For even more in-depth stories, you can read her blog, The Fashion Trekker.