Celebrating fashion, creativity and changeMilano Runway Volume 3 showcased the evolution of Nepali fashion, combining history, modernity and individual expression.
Clothing serves as a canvas of artistic expression. Just like poetry and art pieces, what one wears tells a story, too. Whether it’s the Victorian era, during Shakespeare’s time, or in the modern world, what people wear reveals to us bits of history, time and who they are as a person.
Designers experiment with colours, fabrics, shapes and textures to make new styles and trends. The materials and shapes they choose aren't just for looks; they reflect the evolving art scene, personal identity and style, interests, and cultural background.
Today, all around the world, fashion has evolved beyond self-expression. It has become the gateway for initiating important discourse and raising awareness on various issues. From slogan T-shirts to symbolic accessories, individuals use fashion to express views on various issues ranging from activism and social justice to environmental concerns.
In Nepal, too, we see a big hype among the youth for fashion. Runways like Milano are a vivid example of how the Nepali fashion industry is slowly evolving.
Milano Runway began as Milano Shrestha’s venture to strengthen the Nepali fashion landscape in September 2022. The second edition of the fashion show was held in February 2023. The runway made its return as ‘Milano Runway Vol 3’ at Club Fahrenheit Thamel, Kathmandu, this Wednesday.
A total of 49 models—34 female and 15 male—rocked the runway with their confident walks, donning the latest designs of eight Nepal-based designers and brands. The models were selected from an extensive audition process out of a pool of over 150 candidates by a panel of judges, which included Prasant Tamrakar, Sonam Subba Limbu, Shweta Khadka, Aakash Shrestha and Sareesha Shrestha in January.
Kashish Limbu, who won the ‘Face of Nepal 2023’, Ankit Katila, who came 3rd in ‘SupraNational Nepal’, Ronish Khadgi, the winner of the ‘Model Hunt Contest’, and Prathistha Chhetri, who was handpicked by designer Subba Limbu, were the showstoppers of the event.
The show kicked off by honouring Prasant Tamrakar, who has been a key figure in Nepal’s fashion industry for over two decades.
Reflecting on his career, Tamrakar shared, “When I look back at my journey, it seems like it was just yesterday that I entered this industry and it also feels like many years ago. Over the years, platforms like Milano have given me fresh energy to keep moving ahead.”
The fashion showcase opened with the ‘Cocktail Sequence’, designed by Subba Limbu, in a colour palette of yellow, gold, and navy blue. The collection exuded a mesmerising mix of glamour and sophistication, celebrating contemporary style and timeless elegance. Each dress in this line is designed to make the wearer feel confidently chic at any event.
Similarly, the second sequence by designer Anjila Shrestha was modelled by six male models. Shrestha’s designs, themed ‘Soch Pariwartan’, celebrated the expression of feminine energy and emotions in men. Her designs, made from recycled materials, emphasised the message and practice of ‘sustainable and eco-friendly fashion’.
Alka Ale Magar’s collection not only showcased style but also supported a cause. Engaging mothers of children with special needs in the production process, Magar’s collection, named ‘Bellissima’ (Italian for ‘the most beautiful’), highlighted the essence of women supporting each other.
Magar wanted to convey the message that every woman is the most beautiful and deserves everything that makes them feel beautiful and confident.
Sonu Gurung, a 23-year-old fashion enthusiast in the audience, expressed her excitement about witnessing a celebration of individuality and creativity through the lively designs and remarked, “My favourite is the collection ‘My Ex’s Funeral’ by Ajay Gurung and Rhythm Giri.”
As intriguing as its name, ‘My Ex’s Funeral’ was a head-turner, exploring the metaphorical journey through the highs and lows of love, loss and rediscovery. It reflected the contrast of emotions one experiences when bidding farewell to the past and embracing the future.
Subba Limbu also launched formal wear for men in the second last sequence of the show, for which Khadgi was the show stopper. Subba Limbu’s menswear collection took elegance to a whole new level. With expert tailoring and design, the outfits give a strong and stylish look for formal events and express ‘sophisticated masculinity’.
Opportunity and inclusion of more new faces and emerging artists were the highlights of the runway, according to model Yukta Paudel, who has walked all three Milano shows.
Ayushme Pradhan, a budding model, grateful for the opportunity on the runway, said, “This is my first time with Milano. Platforms like these are very important for young and aspiring models like us. I hope this saga of creativity, change, and celebration of individuality continues.”
Another collection by Subba Limbu, titled ‘Queens’ featuring long gowns for women, closed the show. He dedicated this collection to all the beauty queens who have worked tirelessly to make their country proud on national and international platforms.
Celebrating creativity, lifestyle and Nepali fashion evolving around us, ‘Milano Volume 3’ concluded after giving us a dose of fashion and creativity.