Tibetan dress through the eyes of a rebellion
Well, the reason why I kept bombarding you guys with my mental acrobatics was because of my long and thought provoking sabbatical.
So, let’s just leave my narcissism aside, and talk about an emerging Tibetan fashion designer, Jamphel Samdup.
Agreed we have couple of other Tibetan fashion designers who have a finesse and an eccentric approach, but Samdup is not your regular guy. Born and brought up in a Tibetan village in South India, he dropped out of his nursing college, veered his ways out of parental pressure and gathered a firm conviction to pursue fashion designing. After completing his fashion diploma course from JD Institute of fashion technology in Bangalore, Jamphel is now the man behind a new fashion label, Phurkyi House. Since its launch in February this year, he has successfully brought about four fashion shows in Bangalore, and one in Minneapolis, USA.
Jamphel’s chupas exude a degree of sensuality, with subtle lace work on the hem, sequined and printed borders, and sheer sleeves. Interestingly, his embroidered borders on chupas effortlessly speak of baroque charm. And boy, does it scream regalia. It works for young Tibetan women who desire traditional Tibetan outfit with a modern and a refreshing twist. His chupas can be worn as one piece, a clear blessing for workaholic Tibetan women who normally take pains to adjust their bhoeso huncho every hour.
“Though the decision to take up fashion designing was abrupt, I always loved drawing fashion garments. I constantly find myself thinking about the ways I could create a new story using different fabrics and colours. It was a cognitive ability,” says the 27-year old designer, who single-handedly runs his label. Given the fact that every Tibetan has a great responsibility towards our freedom struggle and preservation of our unique culture, I asked him whether it has influenced him in any way. He says his designs are very much in sync with his religious and cultural background. “I care about my country and our struggle for freedom, but it doesn’t stop me from doing what I love doing. Besides, I see my approach towards designs as an interdependent process, which is the core of Tibetan Buddhism. I’m planning to do a charity show very soon, and utilize the fund to help elderly people in our village. I think it will be another way of giving back to my community,” states the Bangalore-based designer who emphasizes more on the structure and the silhouette.
Jamphel is currently working on his upcoming show estimated to be held in October, 2013. His new collection of chupas with inflated peplum on the waistline will surely blow you away. So why not wear these eye-catching chupas on every Lhakar and promote ‘Tibetanness’ in a crude fashion. I say, it doesn’t harm to be a rockstar activist.
Chupa: Tibetan dress
Bhoeso huncho: A Tibetan shirt with an extended collar up to the waist. It is usually tucked inside the chupa, with folded collars around the neckline.
Lhakar, meaning “White Wednesday,” is a Tibetan self-reliance movement, which began after the 2008 uprising. In an effort to fight against cultural genocide by Chinese Communist Party, Tibetans across the globe (especially in Tibet), make their own initiative to wear Tibetan apparel, eat Tibetan food and speak Tibetan. This homegrown movement is practiced every Wednesday (Dalai Lama’s soul day.)