Tibetan fashion show highlights distinctive culture


A fashion show featuring Tibetan-style costumes dazzled crowds Sunday in Lhasa, capital of Tibet autonomous region.

Some 90 suits were showcased at the event, more than 20 of which were traditional costumes of Tibet.

"I am very happy to participate in such an event," said Yang, one of 24 amateur models selected from a college in Lhasa. "It's a great opportunity to share our traditional culture and showcase myself."

A young Tibetan modeling at the fashion show. [Photo/CGTN]

Fashion experts from China's top design college, along with some local designers, impressed spectators with innovative works that integrate modern elements. They were presented by professional models.

"I really love the two sets of costumes I wore today and I feel honored to share a kind of new fashion with others," said Kang Junlong, a professional model.

Tashi Yungtso is one of the few local designers invited to contribute their wisdom this time. She was responsible for designing five suits.

"I tried to add popular, modern elements to traditional noble class styles, and the biggest aspect for my works is the bold innovation in color," Tashi told CGTN.

Models wear costumes that combine Tibetan style and modern fashion elements. [Photo/CGTN]

This is the first time that a fashion show was included in Tibet's annual Shoton Festival, known as Yogurt Festival. But as early as 2002, a model contest was held in front of the world-renowned Potala Palace. Zhang Jian, an experienced fashion show director, witnessed both events.

"Back then, very few people in Tibet paid attention to costume culture. It was like people 'forced' their fashion concepts into the mysterious place. But this time, the designers fully explored valuable elements from Tibetan costumes. It's significant," said Zhang.

China has a total of 56 ethnic minorities, with each having its own distinctive costumes signifying an important aspect of culture and identity. But in most ethnic groups today, people wear their costumes onlyon important occasions like weddings or festivals.

A model showcases a set of costume that combines Tibetan and modern elements. [Photo/CGTN]

"I think this is not a good phenomenon. As a designer of Tibetan costumes, I really hope that people around me, especially the younger generation, can make a habit of wearing our own costumes," said 24-year-old Tashi, who runs a Tibetan costume store in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu.

She said that the number of such stores is actually growing, so is the number of people that show interest in Tibetan costumes, including some non-Tibetans. The young fashion designer said she even tried to promote their costume culture on popular social networking platforms.

Two Tibetans display their own costumes at the fashion show. [Photo/CGTN]

Zhang says it's worth attempting to apply traditional craftsmanship of ethnic costumes, such as embroidery and color matching, to modern designs, which he said could be a great way of preserving tradition while passing it down.

"We can't just copy what our ancestors left to us. Moreover, we need to innovate and develop them with our wisdom," he said.